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HSBC FALLS NEARLY 2% ON TAX EVASION ACCUSATIONS

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HSBC FALLS NEARLY 2% ON TAX EVASION ACCUSATIONS

Feb 9 2015, 10.05am

STOCK.com

HSBC fell 1% on Monday’s opening and another 0.8% in the first hour.

HSBC bank has been investigated by the BBC’s Panorama programme and found to be helping clients with tax evasion. The information came from a company whistleblower who opened stolen records in 2007 to the French newspaper Le Monde, who subsequently forwarded the details of more than 100,000 HSBC accounts on to media outlets. British TV journalists for the Panorama programme have made a report called ‘The Bank of Tax Cheats’ to be aired today, Monday 9 February at 8.30pm GMT on BBC1. The Guardian newspaper report that HSBC may also have to answer felony charges in the U.S for their behaviour.

The HSBC chairman at the time, Stephen Green, had no comment. Lord Green was made a peer in the House of Lords, the upper house of the British parliament, approximately 2 weeks before he left HSBC. He also acted as British Trade Minister until 2013.

Though tax avoidance is legal, tax evasion is against the law and the data revealed in 2007 showed that the bank aided and abetted clients, many with offshore accounts, to withhold tax by using bank privacy laws in Switzerland.

Reports regarding the recovery of the missing tax from HSBC clients are from the Australian Tax office who have recovered more than A$30m in tax liabilities over the past five years, and from Britain’s tax office who have claimed £135m in tax, interest and penalties.

So far, this year, HSBC has already been billed with litigation charges (jointly with RBS) of $1.2 billion on manipulation of foreign exchange rates. This adds to the weight on shares and dividends for investors already at a high with the new regulations that enforce banks to provide an asset buffer of capital in case any should ever need government funding.

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