HSBC, the second largest bank in the world, with headquarters in London, is embroiled in offshore tax evasion allegations involving $100 billion dollars.
According to the BBC News, HSBC offshore tax evasion ultimately “helped clients dodge millions in taxes” with more than 200 countries being involved in the tax evasion.
On 2/18/15 the ICIJ (journalists from 45 countries) unearthed secret Swiss bank accounts for clients who are criminals, tax dodgers, politicians, celebrities, arms traffickers, and drug dealers. The report implicates some of the world’s wealthiest people in tax evasion, money laundering (arms dealers, blood diamonds, 3rd world dictators). HSBC set up these accounts for soccer and tennis stars, rock stars, Hollywood actors, royalty, politicians, Corporate executives, and old-wealth families.
Tax evasion includes: undeclared accounts, unreported income, tax avoidance in home countries, and anonymous accounts held thru offshore holding companies. It is estimated that $7.6 trillion (or more) is held in overseas tax havens costing governments world wide hundreds of billions of dollars in tax revenues. In the U.S., alone, it is estimated that $184 billion per year is not paid in federal, state and local taxes from the wealthiest Americans who hide their assets in offshore tax havens (with Switzerland being the biggest tax haven).
In the words, of Thomas Piketty, Author, Capital in the 21st Century, “Financial opacity is one of the key drivers of rising global inequality. It allows a large fraction of top income and wealth groups to pay negligible tax rates, while the rest of us pay large taxes in order to finance public goods and services (education, health and infrastructure).”
Please see related news articles below:
2. International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ.org) – Banking Giant HSBC Sheltered Murky Cash Linked to Dictators and Arms Dealers