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HSBC to pay 300 mln euros to avoid French tax fraud trial

15 November 2017

HSBC has agreed to pay €300m ($353m; £266m) to French authorities to settle a long-running investigation into tax evasion by French clients.

The French financial prosecutor's office has dismissed the investigation.

The CJIP was the first such settlement signed in France which offers companies facing legal proceedings over corruption or money laundering the option to put an end to criminal proceedings.

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Earlier on Tuesday, HSBC said it would make the payment to settle the long-running probe into tax dodging by French citizens via its private bank in Switzerland. The bank says it has since taken measures to prevent tax fraud.

On the basis of the data, the French authorities initiated a formal investigation into HSBC in 2014.

HSBC was initially ordered by a French court to post a €1bn bail in 2015 to cover a potential penalty.

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HSBC has admitted that the private Swiss bank made mistakes.

The banking giant added that it was pleased to resolve "this legacy investigation which relates to conduct that took place many years ago".

In a similar case, UBS Group and its French unit were ordered in March to stand trial for tax fraud after settlement talks broke down over the size of the penalty.

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HSBC to pay 300 mln euros to avoid French tax fraud trial