HMRC has reached a deal with French authorities to allow it to share evidence from a whistle-blower regarding tax evasion between 2005 and 2007.
The UK tax authority initially said it couldn’t share Swiss data with any other UK body than the Crown Prosecution Service, and could only use the information for “tax purposes”.
However, following an agreement on 23 February, HMRC said it can now share with other UK law enforcement agencies.
HMRC has arranged a multi-agency meeting for next week to discuss how the stolen HSBC Suisse data can be shared with them, inviting the Serious Fraud Office, the FCA, Crown Prosecution Service, City of London Police, National Crime Agency and EuroJust.
The news means probes can now be launched into money laundering, among other offences, but HMRC chief executive Lin Homer admitted it is still unlikely to secure individual prosecutions over evasion aided by HSBC’s Swiss private bank.
Addressing the Treasury Select Committee yesterday, Homer said: “I don’t think there will be many [prosecutions].
“It’s because of weaknesses in the evidence. What I think we needed in the individual cases was supporting evidence to back up indications of criminality which we got from the [Falciani] data.”
HMRC is continuing to investigate around 100 individuals of the total 1,100 UK individuals passed by French authorities in 2010.