July 1, 2013 / 10:59 AM / 5 years ago

French lawmakers to hear alleged HSBC data thief: sources

PARIS (Reuters) - A French parliamentary committee drawing up laws against tax evasion will hear testimony on Tuesday from an ex-HSBC (HSBA.L) employee wanted in Switzerland on charges of stealing data on bank accounts, parliamentary sources said.

Herve Falciani, a former HSBC worker wanted in Switzerland on allegations of stealing data on tens of thousands of Swiss bank accounts, appears before a High Court judge for extradition proceedings in San Fernando de Henares, near Madrid, April 15, 2013. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Hidalgo/Pool

They were confirming an article published on the Mediapart website quoting Herve Falciani as saying he would be interviewed at a closed-door session. He added he had been in France for several days and had already testified in French tax inquiries.

One such inquiry is examining whether HSBC offered illicit products to help French clients avoid tax in Switzerland. France is also investigating Swiss bank UBS over whether it offered to help clients evade tax.

Governments across the world are cracking down on tax evasion in the wake of the financial crisis. France’s Socialist government is under pressure to act after its Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac quit over an undeclared bank account in March - a story initially broke by the Mediapart website.

Falciani’s move to France came after a Spanish court ruled against Switzerland’s request he be extradited to face charges including unauthorized obtaining of data, breach of trade secrecy, industrial espionage and violation of banking secrecy.

Reporting By Christian Plumb and Emile Picy; editing by Mark John

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