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HSBC declines to comment on tax data report

HSBC's private bank in Geneva declined to comment on a media report saying data of possible tax evaders that had been offered to German tax authorities could involve some of its clients.

“At the moment for us this is pure speculation, we have no comment,” a spokesman for HSBC in Geneva said.

German politicians were divided at the weekend over whether to buy the bank data of up to 1,500 possible tax evaders with accounts in Switzerland that media say an informant has offered to sell authorities.

Without citing sources, Financial Times Deutschland reported in its online edition that the data belonged to German clients of HSBC, which has large private banking operations in Geneva.

The case risks prompting a fresh tax row between Germany and Switzerland. Top Swiss politicians, including President Doris Leuthard, and bankers warned Germany against acquiring the data. (Reuters)