S.E.C. Settles Swiss Banking Secrecy Case With an HSBC Unit


So HSBC gets only a small fine in comparison to Credit Suisse for skipping US registration rules. Taking aim at the covert nature of the Swiss banking world, the Securities and Exchange Commission accused HSBC’s Swiss unit of violating a cardinal rule of the financial industry. The unit failed to register with the S.E.C. before providing advice to American clients, an omission that allowed it to avoid scrutiny in Washington. The S.E.C., which requires banks and other firms that offer investment advice to comply with basic registration rules, extracted a $12.5 million penalty from the HSBC unit. The payout is a fraction of the penalty assessed in the S.E.C.’s case against Credit Suisse, which paid $196 million in February to settle similar accusations.

Taking aim at the covert nature of the Swiss banking world, the Securities and Exchange Commission accused HSBC’s Swiss unit of violating a cardinal rule of the financial industry. The unit failed to register with the S.E.C. before providing advice to American clients, an omission that allowed it to avoid scrutiny in Washington.

Read more at NYTIMES.com

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