Want to see where the money is from in the HSBC laundering story? Check out Martin GrandJean’s data visualization

Superb map of where the laundered money at HSBC is coming from. Used with permission.

Graph posted on February 11. Published by Martin GrandJean. You can find it at SwissLeaks: the map of the globalized tax evasion

Swissleaks source by country


From the linked article: Map of the HSBC accounts amounts per country. Full size here (CC) license – freely reusable with link to this post.

Fine print in the corner you may not be able to read:

>100,000 HSBC clients

177 countries displayed

Countries under $1M removed (26)

Countries over $1B names (44)

How’s that for a super cool data visualization?

A few observations.

I’ll guess the big amounts from Panama and British Virgin Islands are from parking money their in a corporate account created solely to evade the 15% withholding tax on interest earnings. Possibly most of the money in Caribbean is parked for that reason. Or it creates an extra cutout so the feds or courts or litigants have another round of complexity to cut through to find who owns the money.

In relation to GDP, there is a small amount from U.S. Wonder if that is because our political system is more stable than most of the world. That might explain why certain places, like the Middle East and South America seem to be overrepresented in relation to GDPs.

Look across South America, Asia, and the Middle East. Seems to me there is a lot of money from countries which are unstable or the government is likely to heavily tax, take, steal your money if they can find it or you fall out of favor.

Surprisingly small amount from Russia. I wonder if Russians tend to prefer a different bank? Maybe HSBC just isn’t popular.

Seems to be a disproportionately high amount from Great Britain. Wonder if that is just because HSBC is popular with the Brits.

I wonder if we are essentially seeing the distinctives of the HSBC customer base. Wonder what the distribution would look like for the other TBTF banks that are embroiled in the laundering investigations.

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