Outlook HSBC’s problems are mounting, and rapidly. Now even the Swiss have turned on the bank, with prosecutors announcing a money-laundering investigation into its private banking operation. Yes, the Swiss are investigating a bank whose alleged misdeeds were a product of one of its most cherished institutions: banking secrecy.
This has been progressively chipped away at, not least as a result of the efforts of the Americans to pursue their citizens who have used it to hide money from Uncle Sam. It is on their coat-tails that the Europeans (including the British) have largely hung their own subsequent work. Now, finally, the Swiss dog is starting to eat its own tail, having earlier focused its efforts on the pursuit of Hervé Falciani, whose data on HSBC’s Swiss account-holders ignited the current firestorm.
But here’s the question: if even the Swiss have decided to act and the French are preparing for a trial, why are the authorities in this country continuing to sit on their hands?
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