FRANCE: HSBC bail reduced for alleged tax evaders

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A press report has released information regarding the criminal investigation into HSBC’s Swiss Private Bank for alleged tax-related offenses. The €1 billion bail imposed on HSBC by a French court in April has been reduced to €100 million as a result of an appeal.
The French authorities are preparing a case against HSBC’s private bank business in Geneva for allegedly assisting over 100,000 French individuals and 20,000 legal entities evade €180 billion in tax in 2006-2007, founded mainly from stolen information from HSBC in Switzerland by a former employee.

In February, Swiss prosecutors investigated the headquarters at HSBC’s private bank in Geneva. Prosecutors said they opened a criminal investigation into possible money laundering against HSBC. Hervé Falciani leaked the documents that included names of 130,000 account holders (both businesses and individuals) that had allegedly been trying to avoid paying substantial tax burdens in various jurisdictions.