HSBC has a "terrible list of problems," its chairman admitted to an influential committee of UK lawmakers Wednesday.
Douglas Flint admitted to the UK parliamentary committee that oversees the financial industry that he couldn't rule out further scandals emerging at the bank along the same lines as the tax storm at HSBC's Swiss private bank, but said: "I sincerely hope there are no more skeletons."
MPs accused the bank of not being robust enough in its previous oversight of its Swiss banking operations.
The story surrounding erupted earlier this month when a cache of files taken by a former employee in HSBC's IT department, Herve Falciani, was reported on by several news organizations. Some of the clients whose details HSBC's Swiss operations were sheltering included arms dealers and politicians who were part of discredited regimes, like that of Bashir-al-Assad in Syria.
Earlier, when asked why some HSBC clients reportedly came to Switzerland with wads of cash, Flint was lost for words.
"It's completely unacceptable that some people pay their taxes and others don't," he said.
Stuart Gulliver, the bank's chief executive, said he and Flint had been "working tirelessly' for the past four and a half years to fix HSBC's problems, which they argued stemmed from a series of acquisitions in the 1990s.
Gulliver reiterated that in his personal tax affairs he had "followed the letter of the law."
Answering a barrage of questions from lawmakers, Gulliver said the practices at the Swiss Bank were "clearly unacceptable. We very much regret this,"
"I am responsible for clearing it up. I have made substantial changes," he said.