Spain probes former HSBC bosses over money laundering

MADRID: A Spanish court is probing seven former executives of HSBC’s private Swiss bank on suspicion of money laundering following an investigation of documents in the “Swissleaks” scandal on bank-supported tax evasion, legal sources said.
In an order, the National High Court named seven persons under suspicion of “persistent money laundering and criminal association” who in 2006 and 2007 held senior positions at the Swiss subsidiary of HSBC.
They include former chairman of the board Peter Widmer and former CEOs Christopher Meares and Clive Bannister.
The investigation, which began in May 2016, is based on the “Falciani list”, a cache of files listing unreported accounts of customers of the Swiss subsidiary of HSBC which was stolen in 2008 by former employee Herve Falciani.
The “Swissleaks” scandal has triggered the opening of proceedings in France, Spain, Belgium and Argentina. The Spanish court suspects a possible “collaboration” by HSBC in the transfer and repatriation of funds deposited in the Swiss accounts with “the intention to conceal them from the Spanish treasury”.— AFP