Swiss private banking unit of HSBC Holdings has been placed under formal probe by French magistrates over allegations that the bank helped wealthy clients avoid taxes.
The investigation relates to whether the HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) assisted wealthy clients to avoid French tax reporting requirements from 2006 to 2007.
As part of the probe, the bank was asked to deposit a bail bond of EUR50m or about $62.7m.
“We will continue to cooperate with the French authorities to the fullest extent possible,” HSBC said in a statement.
French investigators accused that the bank had assisted over 100,000 people and 20,000 companies hide some EUR180bn in 2006 and 2007, reported Le Monde daily.
Last week, Belgium prosecutors alleged that hundreds of the bank’s clients moved money to offshore tax havens with the help of the bank.