Spain rejects Swiss request to detain HSBC whistleblower

The high court in Madrid has rejected a request from the Swiss authorities to remand in custody a whistleblower who leaked over 100,000 banking records from clients of HSBC Private Bank.

The documents revealed that in 2006-07 HSBC Switzerland helped more than 120,000 clients hide €180.6bn from the tax authorities.

Hervé Falciani was detained in Spain on Wednesday but was released on bail yesterday while an extradition request is reviewed.

Spanish police say they received an international arrest warrant from the Swiss authorities on 19 March. The Swiss government insists Falciani’s leaks were a violation of Swiss banking secrecy laws.

In an ironic twist Falciani, a French citizen, was on his way to address a conference on whistleblowing in Madrid when he was detained. It is rare for France to extradite its citizens.

Christopher Copper-Ind
Christopher Copper-Ind is Editor of International Investment.

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