It's official: big banks are beyond the law:
The department spared HSBC a criminal prosecution only because it considered the bank too big to prosecute. Listing a catalogue of mistakes by HSBC over almost a decade, the DoJ admitted that "collateral consequences" were a factor in its decision not to pursue criminal charges. Those consequences, it said, could have included a ban on doing business in the US, resulting in huge job losses.
Corporations are 'regulated'; private citizens are prosecuted; senior executive are (once in a while) deprived of their honours (but not their pensions).