The Guardian / BBC story of alleged tax evasion at HSBC between 2005 and 2007 covers old ground for some of us who have been around the tax haven scene for some time. But, five years after i first covered the story there are still questions to ask.
First, why has HSBC survived all the scandals surrounding it with a banking licence?
Well, because we’ve just spent some trillions propping up the banking system. And we rather think that trashing one of the largest banks in the world after doing that might be a bad idea.
Second, why has no one been prosecuted in HSBC in the UK as yet?
Perhaps because no one has been identified in the UK as having broken UK law. That bankers in Switzerland do things which are legal in Switzerland is not, as yet, a breach of UK law.
Third, why was Stephen Green allowed to be made a peer and a minister and why was he not made to resign as they HSBC scandals (for there have been many) unfolded?
There is no mechanism to force a peer to resign.
Sixth, why has so little money been recovered?
Possibly because not much was actually evaded and thus not much is owed?