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Home BUSINESSHSBC apologies for helping clients evade taxes
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Mon, 16 Feb, 2015 03:09:51 AM
FTimes-Xinhua Report, Feb 16

HSBC Holdings Plc's group chief executive Stuart Gulliver Sunday offered "sincerest apologies" in an open letter for its Swiss Private Bank's practice of helping clients evade taxes.

     "We must show we understand that the societies we serve expect more from us. We therefore offer our sincerest apologies," Gulliver said in the letter, which was advertised whole page on several British newspapers, including the Sunday Times and the Sunday Telegraph.

     "We have absolutely no appetite to do business with clients who are evading their taxes or who fail to meet our financial crime compliance standards," he wrote.

     Earlier this month, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, a Washington-based publication, reported details on how HSBC's Swiss unit handled accounts for tax evaders and criminals.

     While in his letter, Gulliver also claimed that HSBC has been putting in place "tough, world-class" financial crime, regulatory compliance and tax transparency standards, enforced by a team of more than 7,000 compliance professionals.

     HSBC is also among a group of Swiss lenders subject to a U.S. criminal tax-evasion probe, Bloomberg reported Sunday.

     According to Gulliver, HSBC Swiss private bank has been completely overhauled since 2008. The number of its accounts has been cut by nearly 70 percent.

     Stephen Green, ex-Chairman of HSBC, reportedly stepped down from a British leading financial services body on Saturday. Green served as HSBC's Chairman from 2006 to 2010.

 
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