British banks handled vast sums of laundered Russian money

Exclusive: Billions of dollars were moved out of Russia in ‘Global Laundromat’ operation, with anonymously owned UK companies playing major role

Britain’s high street banks processed nearly $740m from a vast money-laundering operation run by Russian criminals with links to the Russian government and the KGB, the Guardian can reveal.

HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Barclays and Coutts are among 17 banks based in the UK, or with branches here, that are facing questions over what they knew about the international scheme and why they did not turn away suspicious money transfers.

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