4,000 Britons investigated over Jersey bank account

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THE tax affairs of more than 4,000 Britons with an HSBC bank account in Jersey are under investigation, after their details were leaked to HM Revenue & Customs.

A detailed list of names, addresses and account balances, which was passed to authorities by a whistleblower, reportedly include serious criminals living in the UK.

The disclosure will raise further questions about HSBC’s procedures at a time when the group is facing fines of about £938 million, in the United States, for breaching money laundering rules.

Banks are legally obliged to report any suspicious activity that could suggest money laundering, although the responsibility for paying tax lies with the individual.

The list reportedly identifies the names, addresses and account balances of 4,388 UK people holding £699 million in offshore bank accounts at HSBC Jersey.

In total, there are 8,474 account holders, including 602 addresses from Israel and 527 in France. Those identified on the list are thought to include Daniel Bayes, a drug dealer who is now living in Venezuela, Michael Lee, who was convicted of possessing more than 300 weapons at his house in Devon, three bankers facing major fraud allegations, and a man once described as London’s “number two computer crook”.

An HMRC spokesman said: “We can confirm we have received the data and we are studying it.

“We receive information from a very wide range of sources which we use to ensure the tax rules are being respected.”