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Spain refuses to extradite former HSBC employee who accessed accounts

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Spain has ruled against extraditing a former HSBC employee who is wanted in Switzerland on charges of stealing bank account data.

According to Reuters, Switzerland had asked for Herve Falciani to be extradited to face charges including unauthorised obtaining of data, breach of trade secrecy, industrial espionage and violation of banking secrecy.

The incident in 2010 saw Falciani named, with claims that he had obtained the information between late 2006 and early 2007. He was a former IT employee of HSBC's Swiss subsidiary Private Bank (Suisse) SA and 9,000 of the 24,000 accounts had been closed.

Falciani acknowledged taking the data, but said he was a whistleblower against the ‘scandalous' practices at Swiss banks. The Spanish High Court ruling said the charges Falciani faces in Switzerland are not considered crimes under Spanish law, especially as the data collected allowed tax authorities in France, Italy, Spain and Germany to pursue billions of Euros in lost taxes.

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