Argentina want £2.32bn from HSBC over tax scandal
HSBC's tax scandal just won't go away and now, Argentina are getting involved, saying that the banking group needs to give them $3.5bn (£2.32bn).
The country's tax authorities are getting involved in a bit of financial argy bargy* and have issued the request after the Central Bank of Argentina briefly suspended HSBC Bank Argentina's operations of transferring money and assets abroad for 30 days.
This follows Argentina's decision in 2014 to charge HSBC with aiding 4,000+ clients to evade taxes with offshore asset trickery.
Of course, lawyers, HSBC Argentina are denying this and saying they've done nothing that goes against Argentinian laws. Being the world's 'local bank', you'd hope they'd know about local laws.
Anyway, at a news conference, Argentina's highest ranking tax official - Ricardo Echegaray - said that the country are prepared to go through criminal proceedings and noted that officials have been approached for information by British authorities. And there's you think that Britain isn't doing anything about tax evasion! (Only one prosecution thus far)
It has been a heavy week for HSBC's chief executive Stuart Gulliver, who is having to give evidence on all this to MPs, with the Public Accounts Committee looking to get someone, anyone, to accept some accountability for all this. Of course, Gulliver has already said sorry about this tax business, but that won't be enough.
*Bitterwallet is requested, by law, to mention the phrase 'Argy Bargy', as this article concerns something to do with Argentina.