French prosecutors want HSBC on trial on tax fraud charges

PARIS – French financial prosecutors have asked judges to send HSBC and two former executives to trial on charges of aggravated tax fraud by its Swiss private bank.

HSBC’S Swiss bank has been investigated in several countries after leaked documents suggested it helped wealthy people around the world dodge taxes.

The French financial prosecutor’s office confirmed Thursday its request to send HSBC and Swiss-based HSBC Private Bank to trial, along with former executives Peter Braunwalder and Judah Elmaleh. Investigating judges make the final decision on a trial.

HSBC said in a statement Thursday that it takes “note of the recommendation” and will “continue to defend ourselves vigorously.”

A former HSBC employee, Herve Falciani, gave the data to French tax authorities in 2008 and France shared it with other governments.