HSBC under probe in UK for opening offshore accounts for `criminals': report

HSBC, Britain's biggest bank, is under investigation over alleged offshore accounts the bank opened for ''serious criminals'' living in the UK.

Revenue and customs departments in the UK are investigating HSBC opening offshore accounts in Jersey for some "serious criminals" living in Britain, a report in The Telegraph said.

The report said the newspaper obtained the names of the alleged accountholders after a whistleblower secretly provided a detailed list of names, addresses and account balances earlier this week.

The report said the tax authorities obtained details of all British customers of HSBC in Jersey.

Among those ware identified on the list are Daniel Bayes, a drug dealer who is now in Venezuela; Michael Lee, who was convicted of possessing more than 300 weapons at his house in Devon; three bankers facing major fraud allegations and a man once dubbed as London's ''number two computer crook", The Telegraph said in its report.

HSBC, the report said, has also registered accounts with six-figure deposits in relatively poor parts of the country.