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HSBC shuts UK customers’ Jersey accounts to ‘prevent misuse’

by: Mortgage Solutions
  • 17/03/2015
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HSBC shuts UK customers’ Jersey accounts to ‘prevent misuse’
HSBC is closing accounts on Jersey belonging to customers living in the UK amid checks on their identity and addresses.

Other banks are carrying out similar checks on their customers on the Channel Islands, according to the BBC.

The measures were to prevent its services being misused, HSBC said.

The move follows pressure on banks to make sure off-shore accounts cannot be used to avoid paying tax, following a series of high profile cases where it has been alleged the practice has been widespread.

Account holders in Jersey have been told to go to their local branch with their passport and address details or their accounts may be closed.

Jersey’s chief minister Ian Gorst told BBC News that banks “strongly have to know who their customer is, where the funds have come from, (and) what they are doing with the funds.”

In 2012 HMRC launched an investigation into HSBC in Jersey which led to allegations British residents may have used the bank to launder money or evade taxes.

More than 4,000 British residents with HSBC accounts in Jersey including a well-known drug dealer and bankers faced fraud allegations, the Telegraph reported at the time.

HMRC said its inquiry is currently looking into 170 of the cases and expects to raise £10m-£20m in unpaid taxes and penalties.



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