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3/14/15

European Banking Industry - French prosecutor seeks trial in HSBC tax-dodging case - France 24

The French financial prosecutor's office has requested that HSBC's Swiss private bank be sent to trial in France to answer charges over a suspected tax-dodging scheme for wealthy customers, a judicial source said on Friday.

The request brings the Swiss unit one step closer to facing trial after an investigation led by local magistrates into an alleged fraud involving thousands of French tax payers ended last month.

The probe was sparked by whistleblower Herve Falciani, a former IT employee at HSBC, who leaked the bank’s client data to the media, including French daily Le Monde.

Parent company HSBC Holdings Plc, the world’s second largest bank, faces a separate ongoing French investigation.

Prosecutors want the Swiss bank tried on suspicion of money laundering related to tax fraud and unlawful soliciting of clients, the source said, adding that the “habitual” manner of the alleged fraud made it an aggravated crime.

Read more: Business - French prosecutor seeks trial in HSBC tax-dodging case - France 24

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