HSBC scandal: 26 clients linked to Vietnam had accounts in controversial Swiss bank

By Thanh Xuan, Thanh Nien News

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Leaked documents show that 26 clients associated with Vietnam had a total of US$37.5 million in HSBC's controversial Swiss bank, which has been accused of helping affluent tax-dodgers across the world.
The total holdings put Vietnam at number 125 in the list of 200 countries with the largest dollar amounts in HSBC Suisse. 
According to Swiss Leaks, a collaborative investigation that exposed the information of more than 100,000 clients of the bank mostly from 1988 to 2007, 12 percent of the 26 clients had a Vietnamese passport or nationality. 
That translates to three clients. It is unclear how the other clients were "associated" with Vietnam. 
A graph published by Swiss Leaks indicates that among the accounts opened by these 26 clients, more than 40 percent were anonymous numbered accounts. 
One client is reported to have an amount of $12.2 million. That is almost one third of the total holdings from all Vietnam-linked clients. 
Vietnam’s per capita income was $919 in 2007. 
Swiss banking is often known as a super-secret world.
Recent revelations about HSBC’s Swiss accounts have shaken global politics, showing that the once-reputable bank hid millions of dollars for drug traffickers, politicians, arms dealers and celebrities. 
Swiss Leaks files are based on data secreted away by Hervé Falciani, a former HSBC employee-turned-whistleblower. He turned the data over to the French government in 2008 and its tax authority launched an investigation. 
HSBC Vietnam told Thanh Nien on Tuesday the leak will not affect its clients in Vietnam. 

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