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Old 09.02.2015, 10:04
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SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

I see that Geneva based bank HSBS Private Bank is in the headlines again for helping clients to avoid tax. Meanwhile Switzerland continues with it's efforts to prosecute Herve Falciani for having broken Swiss bank secrecy laws. Isn't this just damaging Switzerland's international reputation? And maybe it's time to withdraw HSBC's banking licence in order to limit future negative publicity from this affair?

http://www.theguardian.com/business/...-hide-millions

http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/...story/22008838
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Old 09.02.2015, 10:08
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Re: SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

I can't believe this story is making such big waves in the UK. Surely "Swiss bank helps wealthy people avoid tax" ranks along side "Bear shits in woods" in terms of how earth shattering it is.
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Old 09.02.2015, 10:14
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Re: SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

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I see that Geneva based bank HSBS Private Bank is in the headlines again for helping clients to avoid tax. Meanwhile Switzerland continues with it's efforts to prosecute Herve Falciani for having broken Swiss bank secrecy laws. Isn't this just damaging Switzerland's international reputation? And maybe it's time to withdraw HSBC's banking licence in order to limit future negative publicity from this affair?

http://www.theguardian.com/business/...-hide-millions

http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/...story/22008838
The real victims in all of this are the innocent bank account holders who have now been manouvered into the status of "criminal activities" without any intention of doing something illegal.
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Old 09.02.2015, 10:51
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Re: SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

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The real victims in all of this are the innocent bank account holders who have now been manouvered into the status of "criminal activities" without any intention of doing something illegal.
I feel for these real victims. When the French authorities checked 3000 of these accounts which belonged to French residents they found six accounts which were properly declared to the French tax authorities. 0.2% of all accounts.
Source (German only): http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaf...en-1.2341807-2
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Old 09.02.2015, 11:21
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Re: SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

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The real victims in all of this are the innocent bank account holders who have now been manouvered into the status of "criminal activities" without any intention of doing something illegal.
I don´t see any problem. The real "innocent bank account holders" who declared their accounts, like the 0.2% in the French case, don´t have to fear any consequences. The other 99.8% are in (rightful) trouble. Everything is just the way it´s supposed to be?
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Old 09.02.2015, 11:24
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Re: SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

There is a big difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion.
Anyway, I think the real victims are us, the people, who are the consumers of public service.
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Old 09.02.2015, 11:29
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Re: SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

Will be interesting to hear Ed Balls take on it.
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Old 09.02.2015, 11:32
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Re: SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

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There is a big difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion.
Anyway, I think the real victims are us, the people, who are the consumers of public service.
The US does not accept the Swiss definition of tax avoidance.
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Old 09.02.2015, 11:37
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Re: SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

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The US does not accept the Swiss definition of tax avoidance.
Unless they are doing it themselves through a Delaware corporation.
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Old 09.02.2015, 12:12
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Re: SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

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Surely "Swiss bank helps wealthy people avoid tax" ranks along side "Bear shits in woods" in terms of how earth shattering it is.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8pZkDTKTNw
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Old 09.02.2015, 12:12
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Re: SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

Can anyone point to the prosecution of one banker, that helped a rich person avoid paying taxes by illegal means?

I don't think there has been one prosecution so far, despite millions of taxes being lost. Instead of prosecuting the whistle blowers, they should go after the tax evading criminals.
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Old 09.02.2015, 12:35
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Re: SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

HSBC has previously paid close to 2 billion in fines relating to money-laundering, including on behalf of Mexican drug cartels. The interesting thing about this latest situation (to me, anyway) is that the US and UK news media will focus almost entirely on "tax evasion", and will completely gloss over the real news - HSBC was hiding and funneling Saudi money that was well-known to be funding the terrorist operations of Al Qaeda.

this is an HSBC problem, however, not necessarily a "Swiss" problem. HSBC is a dirty and crooked bank, and always has been.

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Old 09.02.2015, 13:48
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Re: SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

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HSBC is a dirty and crooked bank, and always has been.
always has been? how far back are you going here?
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Old 09.02.2015, 13:59
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Re: SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

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Can anyone point to the prosecution of one banker, that helped a rich person avoid paying taxes by illegal means?
This guy may be prosecuted:

http://www.news.ch/Ex+Wegelin+Banker...935/detail.htm
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Old 09.02.2015, 14:46
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Re: SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

Yes, 2 or 3 years after being accused of tax fraud, the US is trying to bring prosecutions. As far as I know, nobody has even been charged in Europe.
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Old 09.02.2015, 14:57
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Re: SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

This was headline news on the BBC today because it is the subject of tonight's Panorama investigation.

From the story so far it seems that it is the fact that this happened and was made pubic back in 2007, but that little or nothing has been done with only one prosecution resulting...
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Old 09.02.2015, 15:04
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Re: SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

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always has been? how far back are you going here?
I'm guessing as far back as the Opium Wars.
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Old 18.02.2015, 12:19
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Re: SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

Swiss police raid HSBC's Geneva office


Tom
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Old 18.02.2015, 14:31
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Re: SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

I especially like this quote from the BBC article

"Last week, HSBC admitted that it was "accountable for past control failures", but said it had now "fundamentally changed".

"We acknowledge that the compliance culture and standards of due diligence in HSBC's Swiss private bank, as well as the industry in general, were significantly lower than they are today," it added."


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Old 23.02.2015, 09:17
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Re: SwissLeaks - more bad news for HSBC Private Bank

Now it turns out that the guy who himself signed the "sincere" apology had himself an account at HSBC Private Bank Geneva -

http://www.theguardian.com/business/...liver-revealed

He is "now based in the UK, where HSBC has its headquarters, Gulliver is domiciled in Hong Kong for legal and tax purposes." - nice trick
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