World

HSBC chiefs to testify before UK Treasury committee on tax avoidance issues

FILE - This is a  Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015  file photo of people as they use ATM machines outside a branch of HSBC in London. HSBC executives offered a fresh mea culpa Monday Feb. 23, 2015 as its chief executive found himself personally mired in the scandal surrounding allegations that the bank helped wealthy clients dodge taxes. Europe's biggest bank by market value said past practices at its Swiss private bank were “unacceptable” as it posted 2014 net income that fell 16 percent to $13.7 billion. Meanwhile, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported that Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver had an account at the same unit. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

FILE - This is a Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015 file photo of people as they use ATM machines outside a branch of HSBC in London. HSBC executives offered a fresh mea culpa Monday Feb. 23, 2015 as its chief executive found himself personally mired in the scandal surrounding allegations that the bank helped wealthy clients dodge taxes. Europe's biggest bank by market value said past practices at its Swiss private bank were “unacceptable” as it posted 2014 net income that fell 16 percent to $13.7 billion. Meanwhile, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported that Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver had an account at the same unit. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)  (The Associated Press)

British lawmakers will question the chief executive and chairman of HSBC, Europe's biggest bank by market value, amid allegations it helped the wealthy dodge taxes.

CEO Stuart Gulliver and Chairman Douglas Flint are appearing Wednesday before the House of Commons Treasury Committee.

The testimony comes days after Gulliver became personally mired in the scandal involving the group's private Swiss bank. Gulliver acknowledged a Guardian newspaper report that he had an account at the same unit.

Gulliver says he opened the account through a Panamanian company to protect his own privacy, preventing other HSBC colleagues to see what he was earning. The Panamanian account has been closed as his pay is now disclosed to shareholders.

Also facing questions from the committee is HM Revenue and Customs chief executive Lin Homer.