HSBC's settlement ends proceedings against it - French prosecutor

HSBC Private Bank a Swiss unit of banking giant HSBC has agreed to pay €300 million to avoid going to trial in France for enabling tax fraud. Fabrice Coffrini  AFP

HSBC's settlement ends proceedings against it - French prosecutor

HSBC's decision to pay 300 million euros ($352.5 million) to settle an investigation into tax dodging by French citizens will end proceedings against the bank provided it does make that payment, the French financial prosecutor's office said on Tuesday.

HSBC was accused previous year of helping French clients to hide at least €1.67 billion from the tax authorities, according to a source close to the probe.

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HSBC's Swiss bank was under investigation over helping clients to illegally avoid paying taxes worth 1.6 billion euros ($1.9 billion) to the French government in 2006 and 2007.

The deal does not include a guilty plea.

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On the basis of the data, the French authorities initiated a formal investigation into HSBC in 2014.

"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", it said.

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