HSBC’s French Tax Probe Bail Slashed to 100 Million Euros

A French court reduced the bail HSBC Holdings Plc must post in connection with a criminal probe into tax evasion by its private-banking clients to 100 million euros ($112 million) from 1 billion euros.

“HSBC acknowledges the decision of the French Court of Appeal to partially accept the appeal and to reduce the bail,” the bank said in an e-mailed statement on Monday.

Europe’s largest bank in April was placed under formal criminal investigation regarding its private bank’s conduct in 2006 and 2007. The move came seven months after HSBC’s Swiss unit was charged and ordered to post a 50 million-euro bail. UBS Group AG, Switzerland’s largest bank, was forced to pay a 1.1 billion-euro security deposit last year to cover potential penalties in a separate French tax-evasion probe after its appeals failed.

France began scrutinizing HSBC’s Swiss private bank after Herve Falciani, a former information technology worker at the firm, took client account details from HSBC’s Geneva office in 2008 and passed them to the French government.

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