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techkenyot.com January 19, 2018


Swiss HSBC settles French tax fraud dispute

15 November 2017, 01:49 | Hattie Nash

France's financial prosecutor said the settlement was connected to wrongdoing by the bank's Swiss unit, which helped French clients hide over €1.6 billion ($1.9 billion) of assets. The agreement raises the specter of a settlement for larger rival UBS.

HSBC Private Bank, a Swiss unit of banking giant HSBC, has agreed to pay €300m to avoid going to trial in France for enabling tax fraud, prosecutors said today.

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The settlement was the first in France under a new law passed previous year modeled on US deferred prosecution agreements.

"HSBC is pleased to resolve this legacy investigation which relates to conduct that took place many years ago", the bank said in a statement. The proceeding allows for both sides to save face: prosecutors can claim a fine, while the subject of the probe doesn't need to plead guilty.

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HSBC has admitted that the private Swiss bank made mistakes. But these negotiations have ended because the group and the public ministry "have not succeeded in agreeing on the amount of the sums to be paid", according to a source close to the folder.

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