The former head of banking giant HSBC’s private Swiss unit has pleaded guilty in France to helping wealthy clients hide $1.8 billion.
Peter Braunwalder, who led HSBC Private Bank (Switzerland) from 2000 until his retirement in 2008, was fined $560,000 and received a one-year suspended sentence, according to reports by Bloomberg and AFP.
Braunwalder’s guilty plea comes one year after HSBC agreed to pay France $353 million to settle allegations as part of the same tax-dodging investigation.
In a separate case this week, the HSBC’s Swiss unit agreed to pay $329 million in Belgium to settle a criminal probe involving similar accusations as the bank faced in France. The settlement requires court approval before proceeding, according to a report by Bloomberg.