View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/money/article/a632997
HSBC faces tax probe after Jersey accounts blown
Whistleblower hands HMRC details of every British client of HSBC in Jersey, including a drug dealer, three bankers charged with fraud and a gun runner.
A whistleblower has given HM Revenue & Customs details of every British client of HSBC in Jersey, according to the Telegraph.
The details included names, addresses and account balances of more than 4,000 people based in Britain who have bank accounts with HSBC in Jersey, and was given secretly to HMRC earlier this week, according to the newspaper.
A drug dealer, three bankers facing fraud allegations, and a man possessing more than 300 weapons at his house are among the HSBC Jersey account holders, the newspaper claims. The list, which is understood to be the single biggest leak of a bank's offshore customers, also includes several celebrities and other well-known figures.
The newspaper said the list identifies 4,388 people holding £699 million in offshore current accounts, and they are also likely to have billions of pounds more in investment schemes. HSBC has confirmed it is investigating the alleged data loss, but said it has not been notified of any investigation by HMRC.
The leaking of the Jersey data is the latest development in increasingly aggressive attempts to name and shame tax evaders around the world. Back in 2008 an HSBC employee sold details of HSBC's Geneva clients to the tax authorities, leading to the creation of the so-called 'Legarde list'.
Greek journalist Kostas Vaxevanis last week avoided a jail sentence after publishing the list, which included the names of 2,059 wealthy Greeks alleged to have shifted over a billion pounds to a bank in Switzerland.
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by Gavin Lumsden on Apr 23, 2014 at 09:00