HSBC share price edges up as executives summoned for questioning

on Mar 9, 2015
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

HSBC Holdings Plc (LON:HSBA) shares were 0.28 percent higher at 569.60p as of 13:02GMT, as investors eyed the upcoming questioning of former and current executives of the bank, relating to the tax-avoidance scandal at the lender’s Swiss unit.

HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver will appear again before British lawmakers, after he was questioned alongside chairman Douglas Flint last week, over the bank’s practices in Switzerland. Gulliver apologized for HSBC’s shortcomings, calling the string of scandals at the lender “terrible”, and assured that the bank is now much more secure than previously. Flint said he would “take his share of the responsibility”, but also shifted much of the burden on the Swiss unit’s management:

“The individuals most accountable for the data theft and the behaviour that was unacceptable to our standards, was the management in Switzerland,” Flint said.
In addition to Gulliver, appearing before the Treasury Select Committee will also be Chris Meares, former head of private banking at HSBC, one of the persons Flint apparently blamed, and Rona Fairhead, a member of HSBC’s audit and risk committees.

The commission will also hear evidence from Edward Troup, Tax Assurance Commissioner and second Permanent Secretary at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) tax authority, and Dave Hartnett, former HMRC official, over apparent failings of the tax authority.
The scandal erupted in early February, after documents showing that HSBC’s Swiss private arm apparently helped wealthy clients avoid taxes were leaked. The data was sufficient for the bank to be investigated for conspiracy to defraud the UK government, Lord Ken Macdonald QC, former head of public prosecutions, said last week.
The latest scandal unraveled just as HSBC reported “disappointing” profits for 2014. The bank’s annual report revealed profit before tax was down 17.2 percent to $18.680 billion, while revenue dropped 5.2 percent to $61.248 billion.
As of 13:44 GMT, Monday, 09 March, HSBC Holdings plc share price is 569.75p.

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