Yesterday Michel Sapin, the French Finance Minister, cast doubt on statements by the Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs that British prosecutors’ hands were tied by limitations placed by France on the use of material about HSBC that it handed over in 2010. Only one person in the UK has been prosecuted for tax evasion as a result of the revelations. Mr Sapin told Le Monde: “I have not understood the comments made by the British authorities. The data on HSBC was transmitted to them in 2010, in the framework of the bilateral conventions that bind us. Nothing has been said to them since. These conventions do restrict the use of the information to tax purposes. But if the British tax office wants to bring court cases, it is entitled to do so. The rest is a matter of judicial co-operation.”
So the information can only be used for tax purposes.