To help fight against tax evasion and protect the integrity of tax systems, governments around the world have followed the United States government's introduction of FATCA by introducing a new information-gathering and reporting requirement for financial institutions such as HSBC. This is known as the Common Reporting Standard (the CRS) and it has been developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Under the CRS, we are required to determine where you are "tax resident" (this will usually be where you are liable to pay income or corporate taxes). We will base this on information we have already, or we may ask you for additional details.
If you are tax resident outside the country where you bank then we may be required to provide details, including information relating to your accounts, to the national tax authority in the country where the account is held. They may then share the information with the tax authority of the country (or countries) where you are tax resident.
How does HSBC capture the information required for the CRS?
We do so by asking you to complete self-certification forms of which there are three types: Individual, Entity and Controlling Person. The forms we request that you complete depend on your relationship with us and will cover details such as entity type and country of tax residence.
When does HSBC require CRS self-certification forms to be completed?
New clients complete a set of account-opening forms and, in general, you will also have to complete CRS self-certification forms alongside those for opening an account.
Existing clients may also be required to complete self-certification forms as
part of HSBC's due diligence for the CRS; as we have an obligation to establish which of
our pre-existing accounts are held by reportable persons. In cases where HSBC has
insufficient information to identify a client as a non-reportable person, we will request self- certification forms are completed.
Does HSBC share your CRS data with third parties?
As required under national laws implementing the CRS, HSBC is required to provide information to the tax authority (e.g. HMRC in the UK) of the country where the reportable account is held by a reportable person. The information you provide to us is only shared in reports to the relevant tax authorities; and is stored in line with HSBC's Terms and Conditions, our records and data management policies and any applicable data protection legislation of the country in which we are operating.
Last updated: 12 September 2016