The HSBC is simply too large of a bank to indict without jeopardizing the global economy. What happened with Lehman Brothers is an example of what could happen should any large bank go under. The HSBC has done some terrible stuff such as laundering money for Mexican drug cartels however if they were to be indicted, the entire financial system could collapse as a result so the benefits outweigh the moral costs.
About the time we think that a bank or corporation is too big to indict we are telling them we think they are too large to be required to obey the law. They can do whatever they please because they are too big for anyone to do anything to them. This cannot be sanctioned. No one is above the law - no one.
Individuals caught laundering money could expect to receive punishment to the fullest extent of the law. Why, then, should a corporate entity that knowingly did the same escape responsibility for the crime? There is no guarantee there will be global economic disruption as a result of HSBC paying a mere settlement. It sends a clear message that the general population has grown disgusted with entities like these getting away with reprehensible practices.
If the best supporting argument is it could disrupt the global economy, then this global economy has a pretty short and dismal future. If you can't hold crooks accountable for money laundering and supporting terrorism because they are "too big", that means the 1% has won. If lives can be taken, weapons funded, freedoms stolen, and all that happens those responsible is a fine and a slap on the wrist, the end is near. There is no way that a sane person can believe that once grow your organization to a certain point, you become above the law. Let it impact the global economy. Let it be known that we care more about the people that we do about the monetary system. People are always greater than money. Their worth cannot be measured in paper or electronic transactions. The monetary system has crushed the human spirit and made certain people think that it is the most important thing in life, when in reality, money was created by man. Nature and life is what this earth is about, not the rules and financial systems set forth by the human mind.
Really, too big? This should prove to be an example for big banks that there is no company no corporation too big or too powerful that cannot fall. The minute the government gives in is the minute we all realize the banks have the power. What kind of country is that? Banks have all the money yes, but they need to be shown where the stand in this nation, which is not at the top.