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HSBCs bank in Switzerland raided.

Prosecutors in Switzerland have launched an investigation into allegations of money laundering at HSBC's Swiss private banking arm.

It follows a report that the bank turned a blind eye to illegal activities of arms dealers and traders in blood diamonds while helping rich people evade taxes.

Geneva's prosecutors said that the premises of HSBC Private Bank (Switzerland) in the city were being searched.

Stuart Coleman, Money Laundering and Fraud Reporting Officer at ABDS comments:
“The prosecutors said that although the probe was against the bank itself, the direction it would take may be widened to include individuals "suspected of committing or participating in acts of money laundering".”

A cache of files, which was made public in a French newspaper, claimed HSBC's Swiss private banking arm helped clients in more than 200 countries evade taxes on accounts containing £77bn ($119bn).

The files, which include the details of 30,000 accounts and the names of celebrities, were originally stolen by former HSBC IT worker Herve Falciani in 2007 and passed to the authorities in France.

According to the files, the bank's clients included former and current politicians from Britain, Russia, India and a number of African countries.

A statement from HSBC said: "We have co-operated continuously with the Swiss authorities since first becoming aware of the data theft in 2008 and we continue to co-operate."

Last week, the CEO of HSBC's Swiss private bank Franco Morra said it had shut down accounts from clients who "did not meet our high standards" and that the revelations about "historical business practices" were a reminder that the old model of Swiss private banking was no longer acceptable.

If you need any help and advice with your Tax compliance and planning, or you wish to know more about the ABDS tax Investigation Service, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Liz Kennett to discuss how ABDS can help in all your financial planning and business advice.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

Brilliant with numbers   
Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
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In touch with issues that face our clients and
mindful of their long term strategic goals

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