The Spanish High Court has named seven former HSBC managers as formal suspects in a wide-ranging money laundering case triggered by Hervé Falciani, an ex-employee of the bank who turned whistle-blower.
According to a court document released on Thursday, the suspects include two former heads of HSBC private banking operations, Christopher Meares and Clive Bannister. Another prominent name is Peter Widmer, the former chairman of the board of HSBC’s private bank. They are all called upon to testify as suspects “investigated for the offenses of money laundering and criminal organisation”.
At the heart of the Spanish case are accusations that HSBC helped Spanish clients to transfer abroad and later repatriate funds “with the intention of hiding them from the public treasury”, the High Court said.
The legal move against the former HSBC managers comes just a day after the investigating magistrate named several current and former executives of Banco Santander and BNP Paribas as suspects in the same case.