By Simon Miller
A member of the UK's Treasury Select Committee has accused US regulators and politicians of having an anti-British bias in relation to money-laundering accusations.
John Mann said the anti-British bias was aimed at shifting financial markets from London to New York.
Calling for a UK Parliamentary inquiry into money laundering, the MP highlighted "secret deals" by US banks such as the Bank of America and Wachovia to close down investigations and ongoing investigations, including into, Nigerian fraud involving Wells Fargo and M&T, Mexican drug cartels such as the Los Zatos and Indonesia criminals in Jakarta using Citibank.
"In particular drug money from Colombia and Mexico is being routinely laundered through US banks, but the US authorities are choosing to highlight British banks rather than their own wrong doings," he said in a statement.
Mann said he wanted banks on both sides of the Atlantic to be held to account and for money laundering investigations to concentrate on off shore havens such as Panama and the Cayman Islands, former dictatorships, including Libya, Egypt and Syria and its secret support for dictatorships in Asia, Africa and the Americas.
“I have no truck whatsoever with British banks profiteering from Iran and Burma, nor with US banks profiteering from drug and illegal arms money or the private accounts of world dictators,” he said.
Mann added: “The British Parliament should instigate an unbiased and far reaching investigation into money laundering in Britain, involving British banks and the endangering the well being of British interests and the British people.”
His call for an inquiry comes after Standard Chartered had been accused of being a "rogue operation" by New York regulators over dealings with Iran.
Standard Chartered vigorously denied the accusations and rejected the "position or the portrayal of facts as set out in the order" from the New York State Department of Financial Services.