Friday, November 9, 2012

HSBC, Drug Dealers and Gun runners

From the Telegraph:
Britain’s biggest bank is at the centre of a major HM Revenue and Customs investigation after it opened offshore accounts in Jersey for serious criminals living in this country, The Telegraph can disclose. 

HSBC bank sign, pile of guns, cannabis plant, Mount Orgueil Castle and harbour, Gorey, Jersey
The disclosures raise serious questions about HSBC’s procedures in Jersey  

The tax authorities have obtained details of every British client of HSBC in Jersey after a whistleblower secretly provided a detailed list of names, addresses and account balances earlier this week.
The Telegraph understands that among those identified on the list are Daniel Bayes, a drug dealer who is now in Venezuela; Michael Lee, who was convicted of possessing more than 300 weapons at his house in Devon; three bankers facing major fraud allegations and a man once dubbed London’s “number two computer crook”. A series of other accounts containing six-figure deposits are also registered to modest addresses in relatively poor parts of the country.
The disclosures raise serious questions about HSBC’s procedures in Jersey, with the bank already preparing to pay fines of around $1.5 billion in America for breaking money laundering rules.
The bank is legally obliged to report to the authorities any suspicions about the source of money deposited in its accounts.
HM Revenue and Customs is now understood to be trawling through a list of the names and addresses of more than 4,000 people based in Britain who had bank accounts at HSBC in Jersey.

This work is expected to lead to the identification of hundreds of people who are evading tax as the accounts have not been previously disclosed....MORE
Possibly related: 
So a Sicilian mafioso walks into HSBC…
Standard Chartered Joins Barclays and HSBC as Scummiest Bankers on Earth (STAN.L)
What To Do With Financial Criminals? Kill Them