We're not talking about a fine for executives laundering money, we're talking about fines about 'a lack of proper anti-money laundering controls, despite evidence of suspicious activity'. This is weasel-speak for 'we found something suspicious but can't prove anyone important was involved.'
The decision-makers who would have seen this 'evidence' would probably be layers removed from HSBC top management. That executives are being blamed for this in the court of public opinion is part of the reason why companies are turning to massive Orwellian computer systems to monitor all financial activity.
[+] There exists a tax on automobiles which increases with age and which, fairly quickly, causes the tax to cost more than the residual value of the automobile. It is justified as a public safety measure, since you get an inspection when paying the tax, but is actually a straight-out subsidy to domestic car manufacturers, since it essentially mandates "Despite the fact that your products work for decades, customers are required to buy a new model every 6 years."
[Edit: I should add that while Hokuriku doesn't give one the impression of being impressively well-organized from the notes in the Senate investigation that my tiny bank in central Japan believes in KYC so much that their manager-at-the-time both successfully intuited "Patrick is seeing someone." and "Patrick has broken up with his girlfriend." from changes in my cash withdraw patterns and wrote these observations down in their log just in case the next manager needed them. I have many fun anecdotes from working with them, like the time my gym botched a withdraw request and received a blisteringly polite note in Japanese saying that no one with the specified name had an account at the bank and if, hypothetically speaking, the gym had business with one of the bank's customers then it should, hypothetically speaking, extend him the common courtesy of spelling his name right.]
Seems like they got fined for being super shady.