Swiss bank HSBC to pay France $352 million in tax fraud case

Mae Love
November 15, 2017

HSBC was accused a year ago of helping French clients to hide at least €1.67 billion from the tax authorities, according to a source close to the probe.

HSBC Private Bank, Swiss unit of British banking giant HSBC, has accepted to pay 300 million euros (352.83 million USA dollars) to avoid going to trial over tax fraud charges, French Financial prosecutor said on Tuesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, HSBC said it would make the payment to settle the long-running probe into tax dodging by French citizens via its private bank in Switzerland. Under this agreement, the bank acknowledges "the existence of the alleged facts". French authorities said they discovered the assets after seizing computer documents found at the French home of a former HSBC employee in 2009.

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The fine had been fully provisioned, the lender added.

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HSBC Private Bank had been indicted on November 18, 2014, for "selling, banking and financial illegal" and "money laundering aggravated tax fraud". The bank says it has since taken measures to prevent tax fraud.

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