HSBC Swiss Unit to Pay $192 Million to Settle U.S. Tax Case

A Switzerland-based subsidiary of HSBC Holdings PLC on Tuesday admitted helping Americans evade taxes over a decade and agreed to pay $192 million to settle criminal charges, the Wall Street Journal reported. The penalty includes $60 million that represents the value of unpaid taxes resulting from HSBC Private Bank’s role in the conspiracy, U.S. authorities said. The total fine also includes $71.8 million in revenue that must be forfeited, stemming from fees earned from handling the undeclared accounts, according to the U.S. Justice Department. The private bank entered into a deferred-prosecution agreement, which allows it to avoid prosecution but requires it to continue to cooperate with U.S. authorities seeking information about tax dodgers. At its peak, the value of undeclared client assets for the HSBC private bank reached $1.26 billion in 2007, authorities said. Read more. (Subscription required.)