HSBC
The FCA is working with other regulators to ensure that HSBC complies with the code of conductREUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Industry watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has stated that it is "working closely" with HSBC and other agencies to ensure proper compliance at the global bank following the damaging tax revelations of last week.

It is the first statement the regulator has made since the media furor over tax dodging at HSBC's Swiss private bank erupted last Monday.

The FCA said: "This [tax scandal] has served to reinforce the importance of firms operating with the right culture across all of their operations.

"The FCA is working closely with the firm and other agencies which have an interest in this matter to ensure that any questions this may raise in relation to any current practices and culture of HSBC are addressed."

The Bank of England said that it would consider looking into the allegations while the Serious Fraud Office said last week that it would welcome discussions with HMRC.

On Sunday (15 February), HSBC took out a full page advert offering its "sincerest apologies" in several national newspapers.

The advert reproduces an open letter by HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver, in which he describes the "painful experience" of media reports about thousands of private documents detailing widespread tax avoidance, leaked by whistleblower Hervé Falciani.

"The media focus has been on historical events that show the standards to which we operate today were not universally in place in our Swiss operations eight years ago," the advertisement said.

"We must show we understand that the societies we serve expect more from us. We therefore offer our sincerest apologies."