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Belgian prosecutors settle with HSBC in tax dodging case

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian prosecutors said Tuesday they have reached a settlement worth nearly 300 million euros ($335 million) with a Swiss private banking branch of HSBC over a longstanding fraud and tax dodging case.

The Brussels prosecutor's office said it was able to reach a settlement partly because of a "change in the wealth management within HSBC," noting the bank had stopped certain offshore services, improved transparency and appointed an anti-fraud director.

The prosecutor's office had accused the company in 2014 of massive organized fiscal fraud and forming a criminal organization to the benefit of over 1,000 wealthy clients that cost the Belgian authorities "hundreds of millions of euros."

HSBC said it could not comment on the case since any settlement would still be subject to court approval.

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