HSBC Holdings Plc (00005.HK) could face a fine of up to US$2 billion for allegedly assisting clients of its Swiss private banking arm to evade taxes and hide their assets, CITIC CLSA said.
The brokerage’s estimate is based on similar cases in the past involving Credit Suisse Group AG and UBS AG, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Wednesday.
CLSA said in a research report the allegations against HSBC are related to matters dating from 2007 and many governments have assembled relevant documents since 2008.
The bank has adopted measures to improve its internal control system, and the latest allegations do not imply problems with its present business model, CLSA said.
However, the allegations may result in further investigations by US and British authorities, the Financial Times said.
New investigations may lead to a review by the US and British governments of previous settlement agreements regarding other tax evasion and money laundering cases, Reuters said.
The brokerage maintained its “underperform” rating on the bank.
Translation by Vey Wong
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