BRUSSELS, Feb 9 (Reuters) - The judge in charge of a Belgian investigation into the Swiss private banking arm of HSBC is considering issuing an international arrest warrant for the group’s directors because they are not cooperating, a prosecution spokeswoman said.
Belgium charged the unit with tax fraud and money laundering in November, accusing the British-based bank of offering diamond dealers and other wealthy clients in Belgium ways of hiding cash and evading tax.
“The bank is not giving the required information voluntarily. The judge has said that if it’s so hard to get the information, he’s considering international arrest warrants for the present directors in Belgium as well as Switzerland,” the spokeswoman said.
A spokesman for HSBC private bank in Switzerland was not immediately available for coment. (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; additional reporting by Joshua Franklin; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)