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  1. Wealth
March 15, 2010

Fitch places HSBC PB on neg after data theft

By Spear's

Fitch Ratings has placed HSBC’s Swiss private banking operation on rating watch negative following the news of a large breach of client data.

Fitch Ratings has placed HSBC’s Swiss private banking operation on rating watch negative following the news of a large breach of client data.

The rating agency put Geneva-based HSBC Private Banking Holdings (Suisse) SA on ‘rating watch negative’ after it was reported that data relating to the accounts of around 15,000 existing and 9,000 former clients at the firm’s main operating subsidiary in Switzerland has been stolen. Fitch said the move reflects its opinion that “this is a serious operational incident which could potentially have reputational repercussions for HSBC’s private banking franchise.”

The firm reported that earlier this month the Swiss authorities alerted the bank to data which showed that client information had been compromised. The theft, which was allegedly perpetrated by a former IT employee about three years ago, involves approximately 15,000 existing clients who had accounts with the bank in Switzerland before October 2006.

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