The Belgian authorities have launched an investigation into HSBC’s Swiss private banking unit.
“The Swiss bank is suspected of having knowingly eased and promoted fiscal fraud by making offshore companies available to certain privileged clients,” according to a statement issued by the Belgian authorities.
HSBC Private Bank Suisse SA is facing charges of fraud and money laundering, accused by the Belgians of helping wealthy customers evade tax.
The damage to Belgium is estimated at hundreds of millions of euros according to the state authorities.
Tax reporting requirements
Magistrates in Belgium and France are conducting inquiries into whether HSBC’s Swiss unit acted appropriately in relation to certain customers who had Belgian and French tax reporting requirements, HSBC warned in its interim results in August.
The Swiss private bank has now been notified that it has been placed under formal investigation by a Belgian judge who, alongside the French authorities, is examining whether the bank acted appropriately in relation to certain clients who had Belgian tax-reporting requirements.
The inquiries relate to former bank employee, Herve Falciani, who allegedly stole information about the bank’s clients.
HSBC has said that it will cooperate with investigators to the fullest extent possible.
Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News