The Strategist

HSBC chief asserts he is still fit for the role

03/09/2015 - 22:44

HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver has attempted to clear his reputation amidst current scandals regarding his personal tax arrangements.

The bank chief noted that though the scandal has damaged the UK-based bank’s reputation he is still competent to head it while he was grilled on Monday by MPs who were part of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Gulliver also squarely put the blame on excessive media coverage over the incident which has led to the company’s reputation woes. “I pay millions of pounds to HMRC at the top rate each year -my tax affairs are in order. I would like the chance to finish what I've started,” Gulliver said to the team of MPs.

 According to a report in the Guardian newspaper, Gulliver had shelved millions of pounds in HSBC's Swiss private bank in the guise of a Panamanian company. His personal finance woes includes getting domiciled in Hong Kong, a Swiss bank account, and a Panamanian shell company, the last of which he argues was solely made for privacy reasons.

The MPs who attended the questioning demanded that the executives should be fired and accused them of being incompetent when considering the millions that were shelved in the Swiss arm of the bank. “Either you're completely incompetent in your oversight duties or you knew about it," chair of the PAC Margaret Hodge said. "I don't believe you didn't know," she asserted.

This is the second round of questions faced by the top chief of HSBC bank to discuss the recent scandal that has rocked the bank.  

Sensitive data from around 30,000 accounts at HSBC's Swiss arm were leaked in 2007 to French tax officials who later handed it on to the UK tax authorities. The bank’s evasion details reached the forefront in February, when the documents were released to press. It is noted that around 50 media outlets around the world have obtained the data and are currently rallying to bring out the details on their respective country’s nationals who had accounts with the Swiss arm of HSBC.


HSBC chief asserts he is still fit for the role