Regulator to inspect HSBC’s local office

HSBC

The central bank plans to inspect HSBC’s local office after the publication of reports linked to 34 client accounts of Bangladeshis in the banking giant’s tax leaks.

Inspectors will check whether the client accounts associated with Bangladesh are legal, Mahfuzur Rahman, executive director of Bangladesh Bank and deputy head of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), told reporters yesterday.

The BB summoned HSBC’s officials in Dhaka to the central bank headquarters.

“We will also write to the FIU of Switzerland seeking details of the Bangladeshis who were named in the report.”

Leaked documents show that 34 accounts associated with Bangladesh had a total of $13 million in HSBC Suisse, which has been accused of abetting affluent tax-dodgers across the world.

“We will cooperate with the central bank in every possible way,” said Talukdar Noman Anwar, head of communications at HSBC’s Bangladesh office.

HSBC started business in Bangladesh in 1996. It does business with retail and commercial banking, but with no private banking, according to the bank.

The leaked report showed that the accounts from Bangladesh were opened between 1985 and 2006, including seven offshore accounts.

Of the $13 million deposits by Bangladeshis, a maximum amount of money associated with a single client was $4.4 million. However, the report did not mention the name of the individual who had the maximum amount there.

Bangladesh is ranked 148th among 203 countries in terms of the deposited money. India is ranked 16th with $4.1 billion deposited with the HSBC’s Swiss branch, Pakistan 48th with $859.7 million, Nepal 116th with $54 million, Myanmar 133th with $26.5 million and Sri Lanka 112th with over $58 million.