(excerpted from Chapter 2: Hong Kong Shanghaied: Big Oil & Their Bankers…)
In July 2011, First Niagara Financial Group announced that it would buy 195 retail bank branches in New York and Connecticut from HSBC for around $1 billion.  HSBC had acquired the branches when it bought the spooky Marine Midland in 1980. According to Global Finance, the UK-headquartered HSBC Holdings is the world’s 3rd largest bank with $2.36 trillion in assets.  Formerly known as Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Corporation, HSBC has served as the world’s #1 drug money laundry since its inception as a repository for British Crown opium proceeds accrued during the Chinese Opium Wars. During the Vietnam War HSBC laundered CIA heroin proceeds.
In Saigon the opium junta which Lucien Conein and Ed Lansdale had installed instructed the South Vietnamese military to dole out heroin to Chinese Triad syndicates who moved it to Hong Kong. The CIA’s Thai Generals used the same Chui Chao Triads as mafia kingpin Santos Trafficante. The Thais often sent morphine to Hong Kong, which was refined into heroin by the Hong Kong police. 
Deak & Company was the major gold dealer in Hong Kong and its operations were crucial to the CIA guns for heroin trade. Founded by OSS operative Nicholas Deak, it became the largest currency and gold trader in the US after WWII. Deak financed CIA adventures in Vietnam, the Mossadegh coup in Iran and the CIA’s assassination of nationalist Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in the Congo. Deak used a Swiss subsidiary, Foreign Commerce Bank of Zurich, and its US Deak Perera branch to lure flight capital from wealthy Third World elites, mainly cocaine money from Argentina. When Deak suddenly went bankrupt in 1985, its Hong Kong depositors were left in the lurch.