WASHINGTON (AP) — HSBC will pay $12.5 million to settle regulators' charges that its private-banking business based in Switzerland violated U.S. securities laws.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday that the private-banking unit failed to register with the SEC before providing brokerage services and investment advice to U.S. clients. The SEC says HSBC Private Bank began doing so more than 10 years ago and collected fees totaling about $5.7 million.

HSBC, Europe's largest bank by market value, said in a statement that it is pleased to have reached a settlement with the SEC.

According to the SEC, HSBC Private Bank decided to exit the U.S. cross-border business in 2010.