By Brett Wolf
ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department's top anti-money laundering official is resigning to take what sources said on Tuesday was a top post at HSBC Holdings Plc , which is struggling to meet terms of an earlier settlement with the U.S. government.
Jennifer Shasky Calvery announced she was resigning as director of Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which she has headed since 2012. She is a former federal prosecutor who had also led the Justice Department's anti-money laundering unit.
"I hope that we have enhanced the agency’s solid foundation so that FinCEN can best perform its mission for years into the future," Shasky said in a press release.
The resignation is to be effective on May 27.
Her move to HSBC was confirmed by two sources familiar with her plans. Shasky declined comment through a FinCEN spokesman, and an HSBC spokesman declined comment.
Shasky will join HSBC in a senior global financial-crime fighting role, according to one source. It is not clear when she will begin that work.
Her move to HSBC comes as the bank is working to demonstrate it has sufficiently bolstered its controls to prevent money laundering, as required by a 2012 pact with the Justice Department.
Shasky left her role in the Justice Department's money-laundering enforcement unit just months prior to its December 2012 deferred prosecution agreement with HSBC, a five-year deal requiring the bank to overhaul its anti-money laundering controls.
As part of the pact, part of a $1.9 billion global settlement with the U.S. government, HSBC admitted drug cartels had pumped at least $800 million through the bank.
A monitor assigned to track the bank's progress "remains unable to certify that the bank's compliance program is reasonably designed and implemented to detect and prevent violations of AML and sanctions laws," U.S. Attorney Robert Capers in Brooklyn, New York said in a letter filed with the federal court there on April 1.
At FinCEN, Shasky led a personnel overhaul and brought on a number of former federal prosecutors. She focused FinCEN's civil enforcement authorities on casinos, money transmitters, and the new-generation "fintech" industry.
Her aggressive reshaping of FinCEN's enforcement unit in 2014 drew scrutiny from the Office of Personnel Management and members of Congress. The bureau's hiring authority was temporarily revoked by the Treasury, at least in part due to rejections of pools of candidates made up of qualified veterans, Thomson Reuters reported.
(Reporting by Brett Wolf of Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence; https://risk.thomsonreuters.com/products/thomson-reuters-regulatory-intelligence; Editing by Randall Mikkelsen and Cynthia Osterman)