Leaked information about the Swiss branch of British bank HSBC showed that holders of secret accounts include Israelis, Globes reported on Monday.
On the list, which dates back to 2007, are 17 Israelis who held over $100 million, and thousands more who held various smaller sums.
The documents were published by the BBC and other news outlets. The Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists noted that “being identified as holding an HSBC Private Bank account is of itself no indication of any wrongdoing.”
Israel is ranked sixth among the countries whose citizens deposited money at the bank, after Switzerland, the UK, Venezuela, the U.S., and France.
HSBC issued a statement saying: ‘We acknowledge that the compliance culture and standards of due diligence in HSBC’s Swiss private bank, as well as the industry in general, were significantly lower than they are today,” and said it had “taken significant steps over the past several years to implement reforms and exit clients who did not meet strict new HSBC standards, including those where we had concerns in relation to tax compliance.”