The Reserve Bank today said it is keeping a close watch on global banking major HSBC, which is facing multi-nation probe including by Indian tax authorities for alleged tax evasion and money laundering at its Swiss units. "As a regulator, these developments are in our notice and we would keep a close watch on all these," Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor S S Mundra told reporters on the sidelines of a global investor summit organised by IIFL Group. He, however, refused to divulge anything more.
Earlier this week, the Income Tax Department had surveyed HSBC's Mumbai headquarters in connection with the black money probe. The bank in its annual report published earlier this week had also said that Indian tax authorities had issued summons and request for information to "an HSBC company in India". Earlier on February 9, a Paris-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published a fresh list of tax dodgers, who were allegedly helped by HSBC Geneva. The fresh set of data emerged included as many as 1,195 Indian names, which is nearly double the 628 names that figured in the first list that was shared by the French government with India in 2011.
A Supreme Court-constituted Special Investigation Team is also looking into the black money menace, including the cases related the earlier HSBC list. After the new list came out, the government had in a statement said that out of the 628 Indians appearing in the first HSBC list, 200 were either non-residents or non-traceable, leaving 428 cases of residents who were found actionable. The net amount of peak balance for these 428 cases was about Rs 4,500 crore.