HSBC admitted today that details of 24,000 customers with Swiss bank accounts have been stolen. The theft potentially exposes large numbers of international clients to prosecution by the tax authorities including HMRC in the UK.
A former IT employee of HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA, Herve Falciani, apparently stole the information about accounts opened before October 2006, sometime between late 2006 and early 2007. HSBC says it has contacted the relevant customers and doesn’t believe the stolen data has or will allow any unauthorized access the accounts themselves. However, the theft could leave account holders exposed to criminal prosecution by the tax authorities, including HMRC.
This is the latest in a series of tax haven bank data thefts. In previous cases in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, the information was bought by foreign governments who are using it to track down suspected tax evaders.
If you have an offshore bank account are worried about your tax affairs Lynam Tax can help you. Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts have substantial experience of the key issues and are helping many clients and their agents with both the current tax amnesties: the New Disclosure Opportunity and the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility.
For a free, private, no obligation consultation, don’t delay, call Paul Lynam today: on 0845 643 9997