HSBC clients to be investigated over tax evasion, newspaper report states

7 July 2010

A number of clients with HSBC Holdings who have failed to disclose bank accounts in Asia could face investigation by the US authorities.

According to a report by Bloomberg, clients who have not informed the tax authorities of accounts held in India or Singapore may face the probe, unnamed sources have claimed.

Letters are thought to have been sent out to HSBC account-holders, although the bank is not directly named in the correspondence, lawyers who have seen the notes explained.

Kevin Downing, senior attorney in the Justice Department’s tax unit and a figure associated with previous tax investigations, is believed to have written the letters.

Robert McKenzie, an attorney at Arnstein & Lehr in Chicago, told the news provider: “This is a global initiative by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Justice.

“It’s clear that the IRS and the Department of Justice are intending to pursue other depositors outside of Switzerland. They’ve announced it before, and they are moving forward in that regard.”

In a previous settlement, UBS paid $780 million in penalties after admitting to helping its clients evade pay tax over a seven-year period.

By Jim Ottewill

Become a bobsguide member to access the following

1. Unrestricted access to bobsguide
2. Send a proposal request
3. Insights delivered daily to your inbox
4. Career development