HSBC has published a full-page advert with an apology over claims that its Swiss private bank helped clients evade their taxes. The advertisement, featured in papers in the UK, was in the form of an open letter signed by HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver.
“We would like to provide some reassurance and state some of the facts that lie behind the stories,” says the advert. “The media focus has been on historical events that show the standards to which we operate today were not universally in place in our Swiss operations eight years ago. We must show we understand that the societies we serve expect more from us. We therefore offer our sincerest apologies.”
The letter added that the bank had “fundamentally changed” the way in which it was run since whistleblower Herve Falciani leaked the data which sparked the row. The number of Swiss private bank accounts had been cut by almost 70%.