HSBC subsidiary in Geneva searched

Swiss premises of HSBC’s private bank searched as part of investigation

Pedestrians walk past an HSBC bank in London. British bank HSBC Holdings Plc admitted on  failings by its Swiss subsidiary, in response to media reports it helped wealthy customers dodge taxes and conceal millions of dollars of assets. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

Pedestrians walk past an HSBC bank in London. British bank HSBC Holdings Plc admitted on failings by its Swiss subsidiary, in response to media reports it helped wealthy customers dodge taxes and conceal millions of dollars of assets. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

 

Swiss prosecutors have opened a money-laundering investigation against a local subsidiary of HSBC following a report that the bank turned a blind eye to illegal activities of arms dealers and blood diamond traders while helping rich people evade taxes.

The Geneva premises of HSBC’s Swiss private bank were searched today, officials said.

The prosecutors said they had opened an investigation into suspected aggravated money laundering against the subsidiary and against persons unknown.

The investigation stemmed from “recent published revelations” about the private bank.