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HSBC Swiss Unit to Pay $329 Million in Belgian Tax Settlement

  • Lender accused of helping wealthy Belgians dodge their taxes
  • Proposed accord still needs to be signed off by local judge

HSBC Holdings Plc’s Swiss private banking unit agreed to pay about 294 million euros ($329 million) to settle a Belgian criminal probe into allegations it helped wealthy clients dodge hundreds of millions of euros in taxes.

The preliminary agreement in Belgium’s largest criminal settlement still needs to be approved by a judge at a hearing that should take place in September, Willemien Baert, a spokeswoman at the Brussels prosecutors’ office, said by phone. HSBC declined to comment on the proposed settlement.