HMRC confirms HSBC Suisse bank data can now be shared
HMRC's Chief Executive, Lin Homer, today announced in a Treasury Select Committee hearing that the French authorities have formally agreed that HMRC can share stolen HSBC Suisse customer account data with other law enforcement agencies and regulators, for the purposes of pursuing criminal offences.
HMRC received the data from the French in April 2010 under very strict international treaty conditions, which limited its use to tax purposes only and prevented HMRC from sharing the data with other law enforcement authorities for investigating other potential offences.
HMRC first asked for the conditions to be relaxed in August 2010. Following a number of more recent representations, the French authorities gave written confirmation on 23 February that they were lifting restrictions on the use and sharing of the data with other law enforcement agencies and regulators for the purpose of investigating criminal offences.
HMRC has arranged a multi-agency meeting next week, to discuss how the stolen HSBC Suisse data can be shared with them. The agencies are the Serious Fraud Office, the Financial Conduct Authority, Crown Prosecution Service, City of London Police, National Crime Agency and EuroJust.
HMRC has already been in discussion with some of these agencies about the potential for further investigation of crimes or offences.