UK gains tax millions from leaked Swiss data
AFP · 16 Jul 2014, 23:28
Published: 16 Jul 2014 23:28 GMT+02:00
- HSBC sells Swiss asset portfolio to LGT Bank (24 Jun 14)
- French 'stashed five billion in Swiss accounts’ (12 Jul 13)
- Spain refuses to extradite Swiss bank data 'thief' (08 May 13)
- French probe HSBC over secret Swiss accounts (23 Apr 13)
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) told a parliamentary hearing that one person had been prosecuted from a list of 24,000 HSBC Private Bank clients leaked by former employee Herve Falciani, who said he wanted to expose tax evasion.
The leak sent shockwaves through the world of Swiss banking, long valued by wealthy individuals for its stability and traditions of banking secrecy, and led to a French probe into HSBC to determine whether it had also helped French customers avoid taxes.
The amount recovered by Britain was nonetheless substantially lower than the equivalent of £220 million retrieved by Spain and £188 million by France, according to HMRC figures.
Britain had received strong enough data to pursue up to 3,800 taxpayers for payments — ideally through voluntary settlements rather than through costly prosecution, the tax authority said.
It added that 13 investigations were ongoing.
"We are very very interested — and determined — to shake some money out of these people, but I don't think it'll all be by prosecutions," HMRC chief executive Lin Homer told the hearing.
"So far we have a yield of £135 million, but we are not finished."