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HSBC To Pay €300M To Settle French Tax Probe Into Swiss Arm

15 November 2017

HSBC Private Bank, Swiss unit of British banking giant HSBC, has accepted to pay 300 million euros (352.83 million USA dollars) to avoid going to trial over tax fraud charges, French Financial prosecutor said on Tuesday.

In a written statement, prosecutors said a Paris court on Tuesday approved the agreement under a 2016 anti-corruption law.

France's financial prosecutor said the settlement was connected to wrongdoing by the bank's Swiss unit, which helped French clients hide over €1.6 billion ($1.9 billion) of assets. A former HSBC employee gave the data to French authorities in 2008. Other countries such as Argentina, Belgium, Spain and the United States also started investigations.

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The fine had been fully provisioned, the lender added.

HSBC said that under the agreement announced Tuesday, there is no finding of guilt on the part of the Swiss Private Bank. The bank says it has since taken measures to prevent tax fraud.

The settlement was the first in France under a new law passed past year modeled on USA deferred prosecution agreements.

HSBC To Pay €300M To Settle French Tax Probe Into Swiss Arm