HSBC definitely should have faced more than just a fine for its actions in helping Mexican drug cartels to launder money. While a white collar crime may seem harmless, these cartels are very violent and were enabled by HSBC. A small bank would have been forced out of business if they did the same thing, so HSBC's size shouldn't have made a difference.
HSBC has escaped the money laundering charge over fears that a fee will cause an economic dip. Regardless of whether this dip would have existed or not, protecting the economy is not a valid reason for allowing HSBC to avoid this. Surely this is the economic institutions finally gaining power over the government?
Yes, HSBC likely did something illegal along the lines of money laundering, and therefore should have been prosecuted. Far too often companies and other entities get away with "white collar crime." This needs to stop. It's harmful to businesses, to the public, and to the nature of business in general.
Yes, HSBC should have been prosecuted for money laundering for its actions. Money laundering is unfair to many people, companies and corporations. HSBC should have been prosecuted for such an act. They should receive some form of punishment for this. Money laundering should not be done by any organization, and whoever does should be castigated.