'Britons evaded £200m in tax' using HSBC-owned Swiss bank
Source: The Observer
British clients of an HSBC-owned private Swiss bank that is the focus of a major HM Revenue & Customs investigation are alleged to have evaded tax by an amount likely to exceed £200m, the Observer has learned.
The potential scale of the tax loss will heighten pressure on trade minister Lord Green, who was chairman of HSBC's private banking division during the period the HMRC is investigating. He is already facing questions from MPs about the bank's links to Mexican drug cartels and terrorists that came to light this month in a devastating US Senate investigation. Emails released as part of that investigation showed Green was twice warned about compliance failures and allegations that huge sums were laundered by Mexican drug gangs through a subsidiary of HSBC.
Green, chairman and previously chief executive of HSBC until 2010, when he entered government, last week spoke of his regret at HSBC's failures to implement anti-money laundering protocols.
Now it has emerged that the sums allegedly evaded by Britons using HSBC's Swiss bank are massive. HMRC told the Bureau of Investigative Journalism "the early indications are that the amounts are significant".