Belgium Charges HSBC Private Bank Unit With Tax Fraud

Law360, New York (November 17, 2014, 4:23 PM EST) -- A Belgian judge on Monday charged HSBC Holdings PLC's Swiss private banking division with helping wealthy Belgians avoid "several hundred million euros" in taxes through an Antwerp-centered fraud and money laundering scheme that the office has been investigating for at least a year.

Belgian prosecutors said Brussels Examining Magistrate Michel Claise indicted HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA for "serious and organized tax fraud, money laundering and unlawful exercise of the profession of financial intermediary" on Monday.

"The Swiss bank is suspected of having knowingly eased and promoted fiscal fraud by making offshore companies available to certain privileged clients," the statement continued,...

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