When asked about alleged wrongdoing by HSBC, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) said it was important to make the distinction between alleged activities of clients and alleged activities by HSBC and its employees. He said that the government had toughened up penalties, introducing a penalty of 200% of the sum that had been the subject of wrongful activity. He reiterated that if there was further information in relation to alleged wrongdoing, then HMRC would look at it very carefully.
He explained that additional resources had been given to HMRC to ensure that they could robustly and forcefully investigate alleged wrongdoing, so that it would be for them and the Crown Prosecution Service to come to a decision about legal action. He said that the only 2 European countries where there had been successful prosecutions with regard to this specific data were the Republic of Ireland and the UK.