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HSBC left itself open to criminal charges, says Lord Macdonald

OWoN: When you look at the intrusive, demeaning and arrogant BS Bank Compliance puts us through, isn't it time we held the same standards on them? Time to JAIL Bankers for Conspiracy to commit crimes. Long overdue.

HSBC left itself open to criminal charges, says Lord Macdonald

BBC News
22 February 2015

HSBC left itself open to criminal charges in the UK over its Swiss tax-dodging scandal, ex-director of public prosecutions Lord Ken Macdonald says.

The QC said there were strong grounds to investigate the bank for "cheating" HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

He added that HMRC's decision not to prosecute was "seriously flawed".

Allegations emerged earlier this month that the bank had helped hundreds of people evade UK tax using hidden HSBC accounts in Geneva.

Also on Sunday, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander told the BBC the Liberal Democrats wanted to introduce new laws on tax evasion.

He told the Andrew Marr Show the party wanted to make those who facilitate any tax evasion, for example lawyers, accountants and banks, as culpable as those who evade tax themselves.

He said the party would "seek to pursue this [in government] over the next few weeks" but, if there was not enough time before the general election, the proposal would form a key part of the party's manifesto. 'Urgent investigation'

In a legal opinion prepared for consumer group SumOfUs, Lord Macdonald said:

"It seems clear, from the evidence we have seen, that there exists credible evidence that HSBC Swiss and/or its employees have engaged over many years in systematic and profitable collusion in serious criminal activity against the exchequers of a number of countries.

"The corporate and wholesale nature of HSBC's Swiss' apparent involvement in what amounts to grave cross border crime makes it all the more obvious that the relevant evidence, once it came the attention of HMRC, should have been the subject of urgent and sustained criminal investigation."

Despite the evidence being in the hands of HMRC for nearly five years, no action has so far been taken against the bank.

Top HMRC officials have been lambasted by MPs on the Public Accounts Committee for their "pathetic" response to the evidence.

Last week, the Financial Conduct Authority said it would look into the scandal, while the Bank of England and the Serious Fraud Office have indicated they may do the same.

HSBC published a full-page apology in several Sunday newspapers last week for the past behaviour of its private bank in Geneva, and reports suggest it could make another apology this week.

The bank publishes its full-year results on Monday morning.



  1. HSBC chief executive says he only put his £5million into secret Swiss bank account at centre of tax avoidance scandal 'to keep his bonus private from his colleagues'

    Now why would he do that? The confidential nature of this type of information deems this excuse "hogwash." This is pure corruption and total avoidance of accountability, transparency, and out right theft.

  2. Ten Banks, Including JPM, Goldman, Deutsche, Barclays, SocGen And UBS, Probed For Gold Rigging

    No matter how many times the big banks are caught red-handed manipulating precious metals, some failed former Deutsche Bank prop-trader (you know who you are) will take a vociferous stand based on ad hominem attacks and zero facts that no, what you see in front of you is not precious metal rigging at all but a one-off event that has nothing to do with a criminal banking syndicate hell bent on taking advantage of anyone who is naive and dumb enough to still believe in fair and efficient markets.


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