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HSBC under French criminal investigation over Swiss tax evasion

by: Hannah Smith
  • 10/04/2015
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HSBC under French criminal investigation over Swiss tax evasion
HSBC is the subject of a criminal investigation by French authorities over allegations of tax evasion at its Swiss private bank.

HSBC said it had been notified on Wednsday of a €1bn bail set by French authorities, which it claims is ‘unwarranted and excessive’.

The bank said in a statement: “HSBC believes the French magistrates’ decision is without legal basis and the bail is unwarranted and excessive. It intends to appeal and will defend itself vigorously in any future proceedings.”

The French claims relate to the conduct of HSBC’s Swiss private bank in 2006 and 2007, and accusations that it helped clients evade tax.

Details of some 30,000 accounts at HSBC’s Geneva-based private bank were leaked to the French authorities by a whistleblower, Herve Falciani, in 2007, the BBC reports.

France opened a probe in 2013 and the matter was referred to the French criminal court last month. The documents were also handed to the UK’s HMRC in 2010.

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