HSBC bosses to face grilling by MPs

Bank bosses due to appear before the House of Commons Treasury Committee

Updated: 
HSBC Holdings Plc Headquarters And Bank Branches As Tax Scandal Threatens Chairman Douglas Flint

HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver and chairman Douglas Flint are facing a grilling by MPs over allegations that the bank's Swiss branch helped wealthy customers dodge tax.

The bank bosses are due to appear before the House of Commons Treasury Committee just days after it was announced that Mr Gulliver received pay and bonuses of £7.6 million last year despite a 17% fall in profits.

Mr Gulliver was not in charge at the time of the activities at HSBC Suisse which have sparked investigations by tax authorities in several countries, but he was dragged into the row following the disclosure that he had a bank account in Switzerland to hold bonus payments.

He said the account was set up in the name of a Panama-based company in order to prevent HSBC staff in Hong Kong and Switzerland from knowing how much he was paid in the 1990s. The account has since been closed as his pay is now disclosed to shareholders.

Mr Gulliver has voiced the bank's regret over the conduct and compliance of its Swiss private banking arm and said that the practices were a "source of shame and reputational damage" for the banking giant, while Mr Flint said HSBC needed to reinforce controls and demonstrate their effectiveness.

Also facing questions from the committee is HM Revenue and Customs chief executive Lin Homer, who has come under fire for securing only one successful prosecution from a file of more than 6,000 names of HSBC Suisse accounts handed over by the French tax authorities in 2010 after being leaked by a whistle-blower.

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