More revelations about everyone’s favourite banking cartel.
Via the Daily Mail:
HSBC has been accused of facilitating money laundering and tax evasion in Argentina, allowing clients to hide more than $100million.
The Argentinian government is pursuing a criminal investigation into the banking giant after accusing it of creating an illegal scheme enabling clients to hide millions of dollars.
The UK bank was last year fined £1.2billion for facilitating money laundering in the US and Mexico, channelling money for drug cartels.
Ricardo Echegaray, head of Argentina¿s Federal Administration of Public Revenue, accused HSBC of facilitating tax evasion and money laundering
Ricardo Echegaray, head of Argentina’s Federal Administration of Public Revenue, accused the bank of ‘rolling out a fraud-enabling platform’ since February.
Mr Echegaray said that the scheme involved a ‘manoeuvre to hide bank account information from tax collectors’ and was linked to criminal activity.
The tax chief linked three companies – Mas Distribuidora SA, Recaudaciones y Servicios del Sur SRL and Red de Multiservicios S – with the alleged laundering.
He said: ‘They evaded taxes and laundered money through the purchase of fake receipts that were later used to justify the issuance of checks whose amounts were deposited under a generic tax identification number.’Penalty: The UK bank was last year fined £1.2billion for money laundering in the US and Mexico, channelling money for drug cartels.
Mr Echegaray said that HSBC’s Argentinian subsidiary never informed the AFIP tax agency about the issue.
The three companies are accused of using ‘phantom operations’ to deposit cheques laundering $76 million and evaded taxes on an additional $44 million.
HSBC’s Latin America spokesman said the bank was ‘committed to working cooperatively with authorities to ensure a thorough review and appropriate resolution of the matter’.
They added: ‘HSBC takes compliance with the law, wherever it operates, very seriously and strongly supports the efforts of governments and regulators to detect unlawful activity and take appropriate action.’
Despite making a huge profit of £13.7billion in 2012 the bank suffered one of its most embarassing years sue to the huge fine incurred for money laundering in the US and Mexican.
HSBC started life as the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in the Far East, before the HSBC parent company was set up in the UK in 1991.
The US financial said the bank had such a ‘ringing endorsement’ from Mexican drug gangs that it became known as ‘the place to launder money’.
HSBC revealed earlier this year that it had set aside an extra £930million for two homegrown scandals: the mis-selling of payment protection insurance to high street customers and complex ‘interest rate swaps’ to small businesses.
In total £1.5billion was set aside to pay compensation to British customers last year.
Claim: Ricardo Echegaray, head of Argentina’s Federal Administration of Public Revenue, accused the bank of ‘rolling out a fraud-enabling platform’ since February