In her first broad economic policy speech since announcing her run for president, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton slammed six banks that have been caught either defrauding customers or aiding criminal gangs. But what she did not do was disclose that her family charity — and her last presidential campaign — has received money from nearly all of the institutions.
“Stories of misconduct by individuals and institutions in the financial industry are shocking,” Clinton told a crowd gathered at The New School, a progressive university in New York City.
“HSBC allowing drug cartels to launder money, five major banks pleading guilty to felony charges for conspiring to manipulate currency exchange and interest rates. There can be no justification or tolerance for this kind of criminal behavior.”
The other five banks Clinton referenced are Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Barclays, RBS, and UBS AG. In May, they pleaded guilty to currency manipulation and agreed to pay $5.7 billion in fines.
Besides ripping off customers, the banks have also given money to the Clintons.
Records show that both Citigroup and HSBC gave the Clinton Foundation between $500,000 and $1 million. Citigroup’s nonprofit arm, the Citi Foundation, has given between $1 million and $5 million to the Clintons.
Barclays, a British bank, has given between $1 million and $5 million to the foundation. UBS Wealth Management, a subdivision of UBS AG, a Swiss bank, gave the Clinton charity between $500,000 and $1 million.
Two of the five banks, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, donated heavily to Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.
JPMorgan gave $446,479, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Citigroup gave $401,217.
In addition to HSBC’s donations, the bank’s Swiss tax haven was used by seven Clinton Foundation donors who gave a total of $81 million. A leak of banking records published in February by The Guardian showed that Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining magnate, had an HSBC account in Geneva. He’s donated at least $25 million directly to the Clinton Foundation and has set up the Clinton-Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, which operates out of Canada.
Jeffrey Epstein, a Clinton Foundation donor and former friend of Bill Clinton’s who served time in prison for sexually abusing minors, also kept money in the tax haven.
While there has been no indication that the Clinton donors who kept their money at HSBC’s Swiss banks committed any crimes, the tax havens are often used by international criminals in order to avoid scrutiny of their illegal activities.
While Clinton offered her criticism of the banks during her speech, she gave no indication that her family’s charity planned to return the donations.