By Jonathan Davies

City regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says it is looking into the tax avoidance accusations made against HSBC last week.

Last week, a BBC Panorama programme accused HSBC of helping hundreds of its customers to evade tax in the UK through accounts in Switzerland.

Chief executive of the FCA Martin Wheatley told MPs that the regulator had only heard about the allegations through the media, but the FCA has now joined an investigation along with other regulators.

"The FCA is working closely with the firm and other agencies which have an interest in this matter to ensure that any questions this may raise in relation to any current practices and culture of HSBC are addressed," said the FCA.

It falls short of a full investigation because the FCA does not regulate tax advice or the activities of banks based in Switzerland.

Both the Bank of England and Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said they may join an investigation into HSBC's alleged actions, along with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

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