HSBC, the second largest bank in the world, has been accused of helping wealthy clients to conceal assets and avoid paying taxes. The bank has admitted that its Swiss private bank may have held accounts for tax-dodgers.
The admittance follows several media outlets, including the Guardian and French newspaper Le Monde, publishing allegations about HSBC’s Swiss private bank. BBC Panorama has also stated it has seen “thousands of accounts” that show bankers helped clients evade tax and offered deals to help tax dodgers stay ahead of the law.
Leaked secret bank account files, obtained though an international collaboration of media outlets, are reported to show that clients were routinely allowed to “withdraw bricks of cash”, often in foreign currencies of little use in Switzerland. The Guardian also states that the bank “colluded with some clients to conceal undeclared ‘black’ account from their domestic tax authorities” and “provided accounts to international criminals, corrupt businessmen and other high risk individuals”.
In a statement HSBC argues that standards of due diligence covering the period of the allegations “were significantly lower than they are today”. The bank also claims that its private bank has undergone a “radical transformation”, the number of accounts in its Swiss private bank has fallen from 30,417 in 2007 to 10,343 at the end of 2014, and it is cooperating with authorities investigating tax.
The bank faces criminal investigations in the US, France, Belgium and Argentina, but no action has been taken in the UK. Following the allegations shares in HSBC fell by 1.8%.
Responding to the news, Fionn Travers-Smith, spokesperson for Move Your Money, a campaign for responsible banking, said, “That the Financial Conduct Authority and HMRC failed to take enforcement action is an outrage, which betrays the level of anger the UK public feel over tax evasion by big businesses and wealthy individuals. It’s yet another reason why so many are moving their money away from the big banks that believe there’s one rule for them, and another rule for everyone else.”
“This latest scandal strips bare the error of judgement made by US and UK regulators not to cancel HSBC’s banking licence for Mexican money laundering offences in 2012, as well as undermining HMRC’s own claims to be ‘closing in on tax avoiders’.”
Like our Facebook Page
Understanding The True Environmental Impact of Dentistry
Incredibly Important Benefits of Effective Ethically Made Anti-Virus Face Masks
Green Entrepreneurs Find Creative Ways to Balance Ethical Goals with their Retirement Objectives
The Surprising Environmental Benefits of Using an Organic Mattress
Everything You Need to Know Before You Start Using Renewable Energy in 2021
The Curtis Institute of Music Makes Facilities More Energy Efficient
What Can Ecotourists Learn from Visiting Chernobyl?
Mastering the Art of Trading Bitcoins Profitably and Sustainably
5 Essentials for Promising Eco-Friendly Businesses to Thrive in a New Economy
Bitcoin – an Eco-Friendly Cryptocurrency That is Rocking the World!
Eco-Friendly Devices Are Amazing for Improving Indoor Air Quality in Urban Areas
6 Financial Benefits of Solar-Powered Homes
From Store to Door with Minimal Impact: How Companies Are Eco-Friendly Innovators
The Eco-Friendly Evolution of Bitcoin Over the Years
A Guide to Investing In Renewable Energy Stocks in 2021
Creative Ideas to Practice Eco-friendlier Consumerism
9 Simple Changes for Creating an Energy-Efficient Home
Why Eco-Friendly Solutions Can Work for Your Home
How to be More Environmentally-Conscious in 2021
Hawkers Launch a Truly Innovative Eco-Friendly Sunglass Line
- Editors Choice12 months ago
10 Green Companies With Amazing Environmental Initiatives
- Features12 months ago
5 Sustainable Home Improvement Ideas To Improve Your Home’s Value
- Energy11 months ago
10 Amazing Energy Saving Hacks for Spring
- Invest10 months ago
4 Super Simple Solutions To Create The Perfect Eco-Friendly Home