HSBC: Drug dealers, gun runners and more!
Is it violently glamorous like a rap video, or really awful that Britain's biggest bank - HSBC - appear to be friends with gun runners and drug dealers? That's what tax authorities are wondering as they've got their hands on every British client of HSBC after a whistleblower secretly gave them a list of names, addresses and accounts.
And according to various reports, it seems that HSBC hold the account for Daniel Bayes, a drug dealer who is now in Venezuela and Michael Lee, who just so happens to be a man convicted of possessing more than 300 weapons at his house in Devon.
Then there's bankers facing major fraud allegations and a someone who has been referred to as one of the biggest computer crooks in Europe.
All these people have offshore accounts with HSBC and of course, authorities are now faced with some serious questions about the bank's procedures in Jersey. All this comes on the back of the breaking of money laundering rules in America, which HSBC have put $1.5 billion aside for fines.
And now HMRC are rifling through a list of the names and addresses of more than 4,000 people to see how many dodgy people HSBC have been happy to do business with. There'll be a few twitchy bumholes in the City because HSBC won't be the only company with some unsavoury customers.
Last night, a spokesman for HMRC said: "We can confirm we have received the data and we are studying it. We receive information from a very wide range of sources which we use to ensure the tax rules are being respected. Clamping down on those who try to cheat the system through evading taxes and over claiming benefits is a top priority for us and we value the information we receive from the public and business community."
The 4,388 people holding offshore accounts with HSBC account for a gaspingly large £699 million.
Stuart Gulliver, the chief executive of HSBC, previously admitted: "We failed to spot and deal with unacceptable behaviour."