Falciani’s case is back under the spotlight after several European media published allegations about HSBC’s Swiss private bank on Sunday. The data, obtained and analyzed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), are based on information revealed to French authorities by former HSBC employee Hervé Falciani in 2008. The revelations speak of more than $100 billion being evaded from 106,000 clients of 203 countries with the help of HSBC.
The bank admitted that “a number of clients that may not have been fully compliant with their applicable tax obligations.” It also insisted that its Swiss private bank has undergone a “radical transformation in recent years,” including reforms that will make it more difficult for clients to evade taxes or launder money. In In 2007, the lender had more than 30,000 accounts. It now has around 10,000.
Switzerland has charged Falciani with industrial espionage and breaching the country’s secrecy laws.
Shares in HSBC fell 1.5% in London on Monday. The bank now faces criminal investigations in the US, France, Belgium and Argentina.