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Argentina makes proposal to cenbank amid tax evasion probe

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View of the HSBC headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey, June 10, 2015.

[BUENOS AIRES] HSBC Argentina sent a proposal to the country's central bank on Wednesday that would allow its general manager to continue carrying out the executive functions of the bank, as the state locks horns with HSBC over money laundering charges.

The central bank on Tuesday ordered HSBC Argentina to name a new president and vice president within 24 hours, accusing it of failing to establish necessary controls to prevent tax evasion and money laundering. "The executive functions of HSBC Bank Argentina SA continue to be carried out by its general manager, Andrés Hammar Aldatz, who was approved by the central bank on May 28," said a press statement issued by HSBC, which made no mention of the bank's president or vice president. "HSBC Bank Argentina continues to function normally," it said.

In November Argentine authorities charged the bank with helping more than 4,000 clients evade taxes by stashing their money in secret Swiss bank accounts.

HSBC rejected the charge, but Argentina said in March it wanted HSBC to repatriate US$3.5 billion that Argentine tax authorities said the bank had moved offshore.

HSBC has repeatedly said it respected Argentine law.

REUTERS