Italian tax police look at HSBC Swiss accounts

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The Independent Online

The near 7,000 HSBC bank accounts in Switzerland being investigated by Italian tax police hold $6.9bn (£4.8bn), authorities said yesterday.

The accounts are on a list from a former HSBC employee, Herve Falciani, who turned client data from the bank over to French authorities. They passed it on to Italy last week.

The list contains 6,936 accounts involving 5,728 Italian taxpayers in 2005 and 2006. The accounts held $6.9bn, with 132 of them holding more than $10m each, tax police said. Tax police are checking the data, which is not all considered to involve suspected tax evasion, a source close to the issue said.

French prosecutors launched a money-laundering investigation based on the data last month, claiming they affected thousands of French clients with Swiss accounts.