Tuesday, 13 November 2012

HSBC Jersey-List: 97 Greeks Account-Holders with 22.3 Billion Euro?

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HSBC Jersey-List: 97 Greeks Account-Holders with 22.3 Billion Euro?Bank HSBC will most likely be the Waterloo of Greek tax evaders – to be precise: of ‘suspected Greek tax evaders’. A list with the names of 97 Greek account holders having deposits of 22.3 billion euro at the HSBC branch on the isle of Jersey, an offshore heaven, is in the hands of British authorities. Great Britain could hand the list to Greek authorities should they submit a delivery request and thus in the context of mutual agreements between the EU member-states.
The 97 account holders have declared an address in Greece. The total amount they keep at HSBC-Jersey branch, is reportedly 22.3 billion euro. This information was allegedly revealed by UK jorunalist to Greek TA NEA newspaper, however on the website of TA NEA the link is… out of order. However private MEGA TV reported about the news on Monday 14:00-news.
The ‘Greek chapter’ is part of a list of 8,474 HSBC clients a whistle-blower handed out to British tax authorities last week.

The list contains also the names of 134 Cypriots, 602 Israelis, 527 Frenchmen, 333 Spaniards, and 117 Americans. More than half of the names (4,388) of the list are based in the UK.
Jersey, the largest island in the English Channel, is a British dependency with its own tax system.
The list leakage was revealed by UK Daily Telegraph. The information obtained by British tax authorities “is thought to be the biggest data leak identifying holders of offshore accounts ever obtained by the British tax authorities.” The list allegedly contains also the names of drug dealers, weapon dealers, a UK singer…
The leakage of Jersey accounts clients is of particular interest for Greece, the debt-ridden country that urgently needs to combat tax evasion.  2,059 Greek clients of HSBC, Geneva branch, were on the spot light this month, when journalist Kostas Vaxevanis published the names contained on the so-called Lagarde-List,in his magazine HOT DOC.  The holders’ data were stolen by former HSBC employee Herve Falciani who had handed it out to the French. In 2010, then finance minister Christine Lagarde gave the list to former finance minister George Papaconstantinou who claimed two years later, he didn’t know where was the original list. Vaxevanis was charged with breaching privacy law, but the hwas acquitted.
I wrote at the beginning of this post that “HSBC would be most likely the Waterloo of Greek tax evaders.” Of course, this will happen only if Greek authorities grab the challenge to investigate the lists with the names of suspected tax evaders and the country’s leadership  shows the necessary political will.
PS 97 Greeks with 22.3 billion euro in bank deposits? WHOA! a colleague of mine was probably right to say should Greek businessmen bring 1/10 of their assets back to Greece, the unemployment problem would be solved.

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