Vietnam to inspect accounts linked to the country in massive HSBC banking scandal

Thanh Nien News

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The State Bank of Vietnam will look into the recently leaked information regarding a number of bank accounts in HSBC's controversial Swiss bank that could be linked to Vietnam, local media reported. 
Leaked documents have showed that 26 clients associated with Vietnam had a total of US$37.5 million in HSBC Suisse, which has been accused of abetting affluent tax-dodgers across the world.
HSBC Vietnam has been ordered to report on the case and to help identify these accounts, news website VnExpress reported Thursday, citing an unnamed source from the central bank's anti-money laundering department. 
Inspectors will check if these client accounts associated with Vietnam are legal, the source said. 
According to Swiss Leaks, a collaborative investigation that exposed the information of 106,000 clients of the bank mostly from 1988 to 2007, Vietnam ranks at number 125 in the list of countries with the largest dollar amounts in HSBC Suisse.
It said 12 percent of the 26 clients had a Vietnamese passport or nationality.
A graph published by Swiss Leaks indicates that, among the accounts opened by these clients, more than 40 percent were secretive numbered accounts.
One client is reported to have an amount of $12.2 million. 
HSBC Vietnam said in a statement on Wednesday that the case is associated to a data theft scandal that happened at HSBC Suisse some years ago and it will not affect other HSBC clients.
HSBC clients can be assured as the bank did and is taking necessary measures to prevent similar cases from happening, it said.

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