The UK tax regulator, HMRC, is understood to
have sent letters to hundreds of high net worth UK investors over
possible tax evasion in connection with Swiss HSBC Private Bank
The HMRC confirmed letters were issued in line
with the provisions of HMRC Code of Practice 9 which asks tax
payers to disclose their tax irregularities.
“The days of hiding money offshore to evade
tax are now over,” a HMRC spokesman said.
The revelations are the latest in a string of
European government tax investigations stemming from the theft of
an estimated 15,000 client accounts from HSBC Private Bank in
Switzerland in March.
The details of the Swiss bank accounts, dating
back to 2005 and 2006, were passed to French prosecutors in March
after Hervé Falciani, a former IT worker at the bank, handed over
information stored on his laptop.
Similar investigations have been launched in
Italy, Germany and Spain and could be expected in up to 10
different European countries where owners of the Swiss-based
HSBC Private Bank was unavailable for comment
on the latest developments.