Monday, February 09, 2015

Has HSBC reached the limit?

I've written often about HSBC, the second largest commercial bank in the world, and its shenanigins. 60 Minutes has another story about the bank.  

This one is about the bank's efforts to help criminals. A former employee made off with computer files with more than 100,000 names tied to Swiss bank accounts at HSBC. These records are quite complete and show that the bank did business with a collection of international outlaws: tax dodgers, arms dealers and drug smugglers. The records are quite detailed; they contain names, nationalities, account information, deposit amounts plus detailed notes revealing the private dealings between HSBC and its clients. The notes show that the bank offered products that help depositors evade taxes.

The French were the first country to have access to the records. They have already reclaimed $250 to $300 million from penalties in back taxes. Since 2010, billions of dollars have been recovered worldwide. 4,000 Americans, with more than $13 billion in HSBC accounts, used HSBC. How much will we be able to collect?

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