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HSBC’s tough week

Can a bank chief ever know what his 257,000 employees are up to?

By Philip Augar  

It had already been a long day for Stuart Gulliver, HSBC’s chief executive. Having spent the previous week explaining that the HSBC’s Swiss private bank was no longer a “go to” place for dodgy tax evaders, he had woken on Monday morning to headlines revealing that he had once held an account there himself as the beneficial owner of a Panama-registered company. Cue another round of lawyers’ statements explaining that Mr Gulliver’s motive for the shelter was privacy not tax avoidance and that he had paid his taxes in full. And all of this on the day when he had…

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