HSBC Accused of Helping Argentines Avoid Tax — Update

BUENOS AIRES–Argentina accused three HSBC units of helping more than 4,000 Argentine citizens avoid paying taxes on money they allegedly hid in secret Swiss bank accounts.

Argentina’s tax agency, AFIP, said on Thursday it had filed a criminal complaint against HSBC Bank Argentina SA, HSBC Private Bank Suisse and HSBC Bank USA for their roles in the alleged scheme. An AFIP official later said the government estimates that Argentines used HSBC accounts in Switzerland to avoid paying taxes on assets totaling roughly $3 billion.

In the complaint, Argentina said the HSBC units and managers had “set up an illegal platform for the sole purpose of helping Argentine taxpayers evade their taxes.” As of 2013, only 125 Argentines had declared having accounts at HSBC’s Swiss unit, AFIP said.

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