• Spain's news in English

'Swiss leaks' gives up data on 4,000 Spaniards

Fiona Govan · 9 Feb 2015, 14:23

Published: 09 Feb 2015 14:23 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Information shared by Spain´s digital newspaper El Confidencial show the extent to which some wealthy Spaniards were helped by international banking giant HSBC to squirrel away funds in secret accounts to evade taxes.

An estimated €1.8 billion ($2.8 billion) was concealed by Spanish citizens in Swiss bank accounts between 2006 and 2007.

The information was contained within a cache of data leaked in 2007 by whistle-blower Hervé Falciani, a former IT worker at HSBC in Geneva who is now in living in France.

The data, which has been analyzed by the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)  includes details of some 30,000 accounts with assets totaling $120 billion.  

Read more from The Local Switzerland:HSBC Swiss bank ‘aided terrosists and crooks’.

Emilio Botin, the head of the Santander banking dynasty who died last September was reported to have amassed a fortune of 2 billion euros and used a shell company in Panama and the Virgin Islands to transfer funds, according to El Confidencial.

The Botin family paid 200 million in back taxes to the Spanish treasury in 2011 to avoid charges of tax evasion.

The Formula 1 driver Alonso was also profiled in the report. A two-time winner of the the F1 World Driver’s championship, he took up residence in Switzerland between 2006 and 2010 before returning to Spain.

Story continues below…

"It´s great to be home," he said on his return to Spain when he was presented with a tax bill. "I´m happy to pay the money. I´m not poor - just a little bit less rich now."

For much more on how HSBC’s private bank in Switzerland catered to clients seeking to evade taxes, including those involved in money laundering, financing terrorism and drugs and arms trafficking, visit The Local Switzerland.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Fiona Govan (fiona.govan@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain's Podemos sees golden opportunity in Socialist woes
Pablo Iglesias is ready to step up in opposition. Photo: AFP

As Spain's conservatives prepare to re-take power after 10 months of political limbo, anti-austerity party Podemos has set its sights on replacing the divided Socialists as the main opposition force.

Wildlife ranger accused over decapitated bison in Valencia
The headless corpse of Sauro was found last month. Photo: Carlos Alamo / Reserva de Valdeserrillas

The case of the beheaded bison at a wildlife reserve in Valencia just got a whole lot weirder.

Spain jobless drops below 20% for first time in six years
The unemployed queuing up outside a Madrid job centre. Photo: AFP

Spain's unemployment fell below 20 percent for the first time in six years, official figures showed on Thursday.

'Saints not ghouls' insists Spanish church for Halloween
Suggested outfits from the Bishopric of Cadiz and Ceuta. Photo: Shower of Roses

Spanish bishops are urging good Christian children to forgo zombie, ghost and devil outfits and instead dress up as "saints, virgins and apostles".

Tough road ahead, Spain PM warns before return to power
Rajoy will try and form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned on Wednesday of a tough road ahead as he prepares to take power again at the head of a minority government with little support.

Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Bulls replace guard dogs at scrap yard in Valencia
Two bulls will be patrolling the scrap yard in eastern Spain. Archive photo: AFP

Guard dogs were not proving enough of a deterrent to thieves at a car breakers yard in eastern Spain so the owner has brought in a pair of fighting bulls.

Two-headed shark born in Spanish laboratory
Scientists are studying the rare find. Photo: IBIMA / University of Malaga

Scientists at the University of Malaga found the embryo of a shark with two heads and just one body.

Spain under pressure to stop refuel of Russian warships
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in Ceuta. Photo: Mil Ru / Wikimedia

Spain is facing international pressure to refuse permission for a Russian warship flotilla to refuel in Ceuta en route to continuing airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available