HONG KONG - HSBC says it's paying $1.9 billion in penalties to settle a U.S. money laundering probe.

The investigation into HSBC has focused on the transfer of billions of dollars on behalf of nations such as Iran and the transfer of money from Mexican drug cartels.

The British bank said in statement Tuesday that the settlement involves a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice. The bank won't be prosecuted if it meets certain conditions, such as strengthening internal controls to prevent money laundering.

Europe's biggest bank also said it has reached agreements over investigations by other U.S. government agencies. It also expects to sign an agreement with British regulators shortly.

HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said the bank accepts responsibility for "past mistakes" and is "profoundly sorry for them."