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November 15, 2017

HSBC to pay €300m to settle tax evasion probe in France

The Swiss private-banking unit of HSBC has agreed to pay French authorities €300m ($352m) to resolve allegations that it helped wealth clients evade taxes.

More than €1.6bn worth of client assets were shielded from French taxes, PNF, the national financial prosecutor’s office, said in a statement.

A judge at a court hearing in Paris said, the deal includes a fine of nearly €158m and damages and interest of about €142m. However, the deal does not include a guilty plea.

HSBC said it is pleased to resolve this legacy investigation which relates to conduct that took place many years ago.

“HSBC has publicly acknowledged historical control weaknesses at the Swiss Private Bank on a number of occasions and has taken firm steps to address them,” the bank’s statement read.

HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) was placed under formal probe by French magistrates in 2014 for allegedly aiding nearly 3,000 French citizens evade taxes.

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