Realizing the error of including MukeshAmbani’s name in the List of Beneficiary Account holders in Switzerland, the Swiss Unit of HSBC Plc. has expressed their regret, and apologized for involving him in an investigation by the Income Tax Authorities in India, as his name was included in the list of people who have beneficiary accounts in Switzerland, mistakenly. The bank in a letter to MrMukeshAmbani clearly stated that neither he nor his company, RIL (Reliance Industries Limited) have a beneficiary account with the private banking division of the bank.
Petra Muheim Quick, the bank’s deputy General counsel in Switzerland and Stephen Barney, director of the private banking businesshave in the letter mentioned that they were sorry about the confusion after an internal review and investigation, owing to a data theft. Now, they can assure that MukeshAmbani is neither a holder nor the beneficiary owner of any account with their bank in Switzerland.Itdeemed administrative errors responsible for the entire faux pas and regretted for the inconvenience caused to MukeshAmbani. His earlier association with Flag Telecom has been a reason for the entire gaffe.Until 2005, hehas served to be the director of Flag Telecom, which had a commercial account with the bank from the period of December 2004 to August 2007, where he was an authorized signatory to the account. The bank believes MukeshAmbani’s HSBC account with Flag to be a reason for the erroneous listing. The company is at present under the helmsman ship of Anil Ambani Group.
The letter also ensured that they have rectified the errors and mentioned that they understand that it is clearly an unacceptable situation for Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, and CEO of RIL (Reliance Industries Limited) and has requested him to accept their unreserved apologies for the same.
India received a detailed list of people with beneficiary accounts in HSBC, Switzerland from the French Authorities, a few months back. The Indian authorities used this information to impose additional taxes on people who were suspected to have unofficial overseas accounts for hoarding money. Following the theft of data by an HSBC employee who handed over the data to French authorities, the situation came out of the closet. In July 2011, the Swiss Government directed the Swiss division of the London headquartered bank of the HSBC Private Bank to pass on the data to India.