The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has revealed that HSBC provided accounts to international criminals, corrupt businessmen and politicians, according to a report released on Sunday.
The report said that the leaked files were based on the inner workings of HSBC’s Swiss private banking arm, relating to accounts holding more than $100bn. The bank provides an inside view of the super-secret Swiss banking system, which is very rarely shown to the outside world.
The report listed former Minister of Foreign Trade and Industry during the Mubarak regime, Rachid Mohamed Rachid, among those involved, and as having power of attorney over an account worth $31m (approximately € 27m).
Egyptian and international journalists have covered the leaks on the list of those holding HSBC accounts. However, the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) is still considering whether or not to take any legal action against Rachid, despite several complaints submitted to the EFSA.
The EFSA refuses to examine complaints against Rachid due to Article 16 of Law 10 /2009, stating that no action may be taken to investigate or move the criminal proceedings relating to EFSA laws. This includes the capital market law, but does allow for exceptions upon a written request of EFSA head.
EFSA head Sherif Sami said the authority formed a committee to examine the legality of a criminal lawsuit against Rachid, after investigations by the Illicit Gains Authority (IGA) and Public Prosecution.
The committee recommended after the examining process that there is no need to take action in Rachid’s case, within the terms of reference of the Authority.
Rashid and his daughter were accused of using information to increase the capital of the Hermes financial group between 2003 and 2006. They also stood accused of accessing up to EGP 700m without the right of speculative companies, whilst Rachid was accused of exploiting his influence as a minister at that time.
The Illicit Gains Authority (IGA) and Public Prosecution accused Rachid of exploiting his influence to affect the stock market between 2003 and 2006, and referred the case to EFSA for decision.