Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

HSBC Private Bank Settles in France

Conrad Doyle | 15 November, 2017, 01:56

Geneva-based HSBC Private Bank said it will pay 300 million euros to French authorities to put aside allegations that it lured wealthy French tax dodgers with offshore accounts to hide their funds.

HSBC's Swiss bank was under investigation over helping clients to illegally avoid paying taxes worth 1.6 billion euros ($1.9 billion) to the French government in 2006 and 2007.

However, HSBC Switzerland announced on Tuesday that the settlement did not mean that the bank was guilty. Other countries such as Argentina, Belgium, Spain and the United States also started investigations. French authorities said they discovered the assets after seizing computer documents found at the French home of a former HSBC employee in 2009. The bank says it has since taken measures to prevent tax fraud.

HSBC has admitted that the private Swiss bank made mistakes.

The fine had been fully provisioned, the lender added.

In 2014, French financial prosecutor launched a probe over HSBC Private Bank on charges of "illegal banking and financial solicitation" and "aggravated money laundering".

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