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28 Feb 2017

HSBC accused of aiding tax evasion

HSBC being probed for aiding tax evasion

Global banking giant HSBC is being probed by tax authorities in India, among other countries, for allegedly abetting tax evasion of four Indians and their families.

The company is furnishing details on persons and entities named in the leaked 'Panama Papers', which included several Indians who had violated tax laws using offshore tax havens with the help of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

In context

HSBC being probed for aiding tax evasion

When did HSBC first get into trouble?

The bank first came under the scanner in 2015 after an anonymous source leaked lists involving hundreds of Indian clients of HSBC, Geneva branch to the Indian tax authorities. In various other countries too, the tax authorities got hold of such similar lists, prompting probes.

Who else is investigating HSBC for fraud?

Countries

Who else is investigating HSBC for fraud?

Tax, regulatory and law enforcement authorities in the US, France, Belgium, Argentina and India, are probing HSBC Swiss Private Bank and other HSBC companies over tax fraud, money laundering and unlawful cross-border banking solicitation charges.

The bank has set aside USD 773 million for various probe-related matters. Due to uncertainties and limitations of these estimates, the ultimate penalties could differ significantly, the bank said.

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BJP

Indian government's agenda regarding black money

The BJP had come to power in 2014 riding on promises to eradicate black money from the economy.

On Feb 7th, Jaitley said that after "investigating the global-leaks about Indians stashing funds abroad", the government has identified more than Rs. 16,200cr as black money.

Further, Rs. 8,200cr of undisclosed income was brought to tax in the last two years from foreign HSBC Bank accounts.

Indians named by HSBC, Leichstenstein banks investigated: Jaitley

22 Mar 2017

Indians named by HSBC, Leichstenstein banks investigated: Jaitley

During the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley revealed that investigations against Indians named by HSBC and Leichstenstein banks have been completed by the government.

According to him, 628 Indians have been probed, an assessment of Rs. 8,437 crore in 409 cases has been made and 119 prosecutions have been filed.

The question was poised by veteran lawyer Ram Jethmalani.

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