The former boss of HSBC has resigned from his position at a leading financial services lobbying group. He has stepped down from his charge at The City UK in the middle the HSBC tax scandal.
Lord Stephen Green, who has been the minister for trade earlier in David Cameron’s term, will have to quit as chair of The City UK. According to the chair of the group’s board, Gerry Grimstone, Green has made the right decision by stepping down from that charge. Grimstone has said Green is a man of great integrity who has served his country very well, and who does not want to spoil the good performance of The City UK. He also said it was Green’s decision to quit.
Green’s exit from The City UK advisory committee brought direct consequences, it has been another setback for the conservative party in a week not particularly good for them. His decision added up to the pressure on David Cameron and George Osborne to prove how much they knew about tax evasion from Lord Green.
Stuart Gulliver, the HSBC chief executive, said on Friday they have to admit they were not up to the expected standards. HMRC, the UK department responsible for collecting taxes, has got back almost $208 million in tax and penalties and it will now expand the investigation with the help of the Serious Fraud Office and the police.
Lord Green, who has served as a trade minister for the Tory government, has not yet spoken about the leaked information from 2005 to 2007, about clients who were avoiding taxes with the help of the bank’s Swiss branch. Green was the chairman for that bank during most of that period, his office went from 2006 until 2010. Now, in the middle of the banking group worst scandal, HSBC former boss had to resign also from his position in the financial lobbying group The City UK.
Chris Leslie, the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, demanded of Green a detailed account of everything he knew during his chairmanship at the British banking company.The Advisory Council Deputy Chair, Peter Levene, declared last Saturday Green’s situation was “very unfortunate” and that it would be shocking if the former HSBC boss could keep his position at the finance lobbying group.
It has also been rumored that people in the finance world are starting to avoid being seen with Lord Green in public, and many believe this situation is intolerable. Ever since the scandal of the bank’s Swiss branch was made public, Green has been under great pressure to give explanations about the issue.
HSBC leaked files were made public by different media, newspapers included. The information was from some 30,000 accounts that together add up to $120 billion in assets. These files exposed how the bankers in the Swiss branch were deeply involved in activities such as hiding suspected criminals money and helping clients to avoid and evade taxes. Lord Green was the HSBC boss during this period and now had to resign from his position at a financial lobbying group as a consequence.
By Vanessa Pouso
Photo by Foreign and Commonwealth Office – Flickr License