HSBC accused of money laundering in Argentina

HSBC has been hit with allegations of money laundering in Argentina following a fine for similar claims in the US last year, according to a number of reports published Tuesday.

HSBC has been hit with allegations of money laundering in Argentina following a fine for similar claims in the US last year, according to a number of reports published Tuesday.

Argentina's tax agency Afip has accused the banking giant of assisting companies in laundering 392m pesos and evading 224 pesos in taxes.

The country's Head of the Federal Administration of Public Revenue, Ricardo Echegaray, said the London-listed bank facilitated tax evasion through the creation of an illegal scheme set up by HSBC's Argentina subsidiary.

He claimed the scheme was exploited by a criminal organisation and faulty receipts were used to launder money for various companies.

Echegaray named three companies which he understood created "phantom operations" to launder cheques and avoid tax.

"They evaded taxes and laundered money through the purchase of fake receipts that were later used to justify the issuance of cheques whose amounts were deposited under a generic tax identification number," he said.

He added that HSCB failed to inform tax authorities about the alleged scheme.

HSBC's Latin America spokeswoman, Lyssette Bravo, neither denied or confirmed the claims.

"HSBC takes compliance with the law, wherever it operates, very seriously and strongly supports the efforts of governments and regulators to detect unlawful activity and take appropriate action," she said in a statement.

It serves as a fresh blow to the lender following a $1.9m settlement with US authorities in December over claims that a breach of anti-money laundering laws allowed drug dealers to move hundreds of millions of dollars through the country's financial system.

RD

Recommended

I wish I knew what a share buyback was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask
Too embarrassed to ask

I wish I knew what a share buyback was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask

A share buyback means just what it says – a company buys back its own shares. But why? And how does that benefit shareholders?
3 Aug 2021
Improve your odds of investment success with these three stocks
Share tips

Improve your odds of investment success with these three stocks

Professional investor Tom Wildgoose of the Nomura Global High Conviction Fund highlights three of his favourite stocks.
2 Aug 2021
How to profit from pampered pets beyond the pandemic
Share tips

How to profit from pampered pets beyond the pandemic

Covid-19 has greatly boosted ownership. But the market had been expanding for years, and demographic, cultural and medical trends all point to long-te…
30 Jul 2021
Share tips of the week – 30 July
Share tips

Share tips of the week – 30 July

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
30 Jul 2021

Most Popular

Why the UK's 2.5% inflation is a big deal
Inflation

Why the UK's 2.5% inflation is a big deal

After years of inflation being a financial-assets problem, it is now an “ordinary things” problem too, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But central banks st…
16 Jul 2021
The MoneyWeek Podcast: Asia, financial repression and the nature of capitalism
Economy

The MoneyWeek Podcast: Asia, financial repression and the nature of capitalism

Russell Napier talks to Merryn about financial repression – or "stealing money from old people slowly" – plus how Asian capitalism is taking over in t…
16 Jul 2021
Three companies that are reaping the rewards of investment
Share tips

Three companies that are reaping the rewards of investment

Professional investor Edward Wielechowski of the Odyssean Investment Trust highlights three stocks that have have invested well – and are able to deal…
19 Jul 2021