UK taxman probing HSBC Jersey accounts - report

LONDON Fri Nov 9, 2012 7:25am IST

Passersby walk inside HSBC headquarters in Hong Kong July 30, 2012. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/Files

Passersby walk inside HSBC headquarters in Hong Kong July 30, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Bobby Yip/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

LONDON (Reuters) - British tax authorities are examining details of more than 4,000 British clients of HSBC (HSBA.L) in Jersey after a whistle-blower handed them a list of names, addresses and account balances this week, the Daily Telegraph reported in its Friday edition.

HMRC, Britain's revenue service, is now combing through the list to establish whether some clients used the offshore bank accounts to avoid paying British taxes, the newspaper wrote.

The list identifies 4,388 British-based people holding 699 million pounds in current accounts and includes celebrities, bankers, doctors, mining and oil executives and oil workers, the Telegraph wrote. The list also includes about 4,000 account holders with addresses outside Britain.

HSBC, Britain's biggest bank, declined to comment on the report, but a spokesman told the Telegraph: "HSBC has a duty of confidentiality and cannot comment on clients even to confirm or deny they are clients. We have good relationships with our regulators and co-operate with investigations when required to do so."

HMRC would not comment on the details of the article, but said in an emailed statement: "We can confirm we have received the data and we are studying it. We receive information from a very wide range of sources which we use to ensure the tax rules are being respected."

"Clamping down on those who try to cheat the system through evading taxes and over-claiming benefits is a top priority for us, and we value the information we receive from the public and business community."

HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, is already under investigation in the United States for breaching anti-money laundering controls. It said earlier this week that probe could result in a fine well over $1.5 billion and lead to criminal charges as well.

Tax authorities around the world are stepping up their efforts to uncover the identities of those who avoid taxes by hiding their wealth in offshore accounts.

Last week a Greek magazine published the names of more than 2,000 of HSBC's Swiss account holders.

The Greek names came from the so-called Lagarde List, named after IMF head Christian Lagarde, who first distributed the list to Greece and other EU states in 2010 when she was French finance minister.

German tax authorities have also secured convictions against over 100 tax evaders after buying stolen data in 2010 on German clients of Credit Suisse CSHN.VX in Switzerland.

Switzerland, long famed for its strict banking secrecy laws, has been forced to bow to international pressure and strike deals with several countries allowing them to make more wide-ranging requests for information on suspected tax dodgers. (Reporting by Natalie Huet; additional reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by Will Waterman)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Culling Plans

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Drug Approval

Drug Approval

Epirus, Ranbaxy win India approval for arthritis drug copy.  Full Article 

Fresh Demand

Fresh Demand

As mining curbs bite, India offers market to glut-hit iron ore.  Full Article 

Root Out 'Bad Apples'

Root Out 'Bad Apples'

RBI chief calls for cleaning up of banking system.  Full Article 

Android One

Android One

Google launches $105 Android One; eyes low-price smartphone boom.  Full Article 

Cognizant Deal

Cognizant Deal

Cognizant to buy TriZetto for $2.7 billion to boost healthcare business  Full Article 

India-Vietnam Ties

India-Vietnam Ties

India tightens Vietnam defence, oil ties ahead of China Xi's visit.  Full Article 

Antitrust Crusade

Antitrust Crusade

INSIGHT - "Mr. Confession" and his boss drive China's antitrust crusade .  Full Article 

Inflation Eases

Inflation Eases

Aug WPI inflation eases to near five-year low of 3.74 percent  Full Article 

Kashmir Floods

Kashmir Floods

Disease threatens as Kashmir flood waters turn fetid  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage