Swiss Court Rejects Ex-HSBC Employee’s Appeal on Data Delivery
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A Swiss court rejected an appeal by a former lawyer at HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA)’s Swiss private bank against the handover of his and other employee names to U.S. authorities probing offshore tax evasion.
Eric Delissy’s plea to examine his complaint against HSBC, the Swiss Federal Council and the financial services supervisor Finma was denied, according to an e-mailed statement from the Bellinzona, Switzerland-based Federal Criminal Court.
Delissy, head of legal at HSBC’s Geneva unit from 1998 to 2003, lodged his complaint on June 8 after the federal government said Swiss banks were exempted from rules prohibiting companies from sending evidence to assist foreign legal proceedings. Switzerland’s prosecutor said Aug. 16 it wouldn’t take up Delissy’s request to investigate the bank or the authorities that backed the delivery of the information.
The U.S. is probing at least 11 Swiss financial firms including HSBC, Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) and Julius Baer Group Ltd. (BAER) for allegedly helping Americans hide money from the Internal Revenue Service. The banks turned over as many as 10,000 employee names to U.S. authorities in search of leniency, Douglas Hornung, the Geneva-based lawyer who represented Delissy and other bank staff, said Aug. 16.
The data transfer was an illegal violation of personal privacy, Hornung said at the time.
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