The BBC says that the bank HSBC helped rich people to hide money so they would not have to pay tax. A BBC programme looked at the details of thousands of bank accounts, worth $128 billion, from an HSBC bank in Switzerland. The information was leaked by a whistleblower working as a computer expert for HSBC in Geneva. He stole the details of more than 100,000 clients worldwide. The data shows that HSBC helped wealthy clients to evade tax. A French banking team looked at the stolen data. It said that 99.8% of French citizens on the list were probably evading tax.
HSBC said the bank has changed a lot. It has put in place many policies designed to prevent its banking services being used to evade taxes or launder money. The Guardian newspaper said HSBC understood that it failed to follow the law properly. One woman who complained when the bank did not change lost her job. Sue Shelley's job was to make sure HSBC followed the law. The BBC said that when she complained that the bank was not following the law, the bank fired her. The BBC said HSBC is now facing criminal investigations in the USA, France, Belgium and Argentina.