The bank has been accused of dealing with more than 170 money laundering counts and a report by the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee had revealed that the bank allowed clients to move shadowy funds from Mexico, Iran, the Cayman Islands, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

"We are cooperating with authorities in ongoing investigations. The nature of discussions is confidential," an HSBC spokesman said.

It was on 5 November 2012 that the banking major had said that it was actively engaged in discussions with US authorities in trying to reach a settlement over the ongoing anti-money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act and Office of Foreign Assets Control investigations.

And in its third quarter results, HSBC had booked an additional provision of US$800 million in relation to the investigations.

"The final amount of the financial penalties could be higher, possibly significantly higher, than the amount accrued," CEO Stuart Gulliver said in a statement.