HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (HSBC) Under Radar over Tax Evasion
HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (NYSE:HSBC) is under immense scrutiny by regulators in the U.K over allegations that its Swiss private bank helped a number of clients evade paying taxes. The FCA is likely to examine the case in which former head of compliance, Sue Shelley, raised concerns about tax dodging schemes before her dismissal 18 months ago.
The FCA in a statement confirmed that no meeting with Ms. Shelley had taken place but it was closely analyzing concerns raised by whistleblowers. Ms. Shelley appearing on BBC’s Panorama reiterated that she was fired from her post at HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (NYSE:HSBC) for pointing out compliance failures in 2013. It is worth noting that Ms. Shelley won an unfair dismissal case in an industrial tribunal.
The FCA has apparently not launched any official investigation into the HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (NYSE:HSBC) scandal, even though, historical details were published by dozens of news agencies, showing how the bank colluded with a number of clients to evade paying taxes. The regulator is instead focused on whether the bank has tightened up its internal controls and culture, to prevent any such incidents from ever happening.
HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (NYSE:HSBC) on its part maintains that its Swiss private bank has undergone a radical transformation while initiating a number of initiatives intended to prevent any tax evading practices. The tax evasion allegations are already drawing interests from a number of regulators in the U.K, three months before the general elections.
HM Revenue & Customs was reportedly given a leaked dossier into the HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (NYSE:HSBC) scandal, made of account holders at the Swiss private bank who are believed to have evaded paying taxes. The agency has an open investigation into the matter. The serious fraud office has also given the clearest of indications that it is open to discussions with HM Revenue & Customs.
HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (NYSE:HSBC)’s private bank was under probe by French Magistrates, but the investigations ended in November of last year although prosecutors have a three month timeline to request the bank to answer to charges.
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