Raids at HSBC offices ordered by Swiss prosecutors were winding down on Wednesday 18 February.

Earlier in the afternoon, stacks of white cardboard boxes full of HSBC archives were moved to be studied by the investigators.

Geneva's public prosecutor began to search the premises of HSBC's Swiss unit, its headquarters in the centre of the city, then its offices in Blandonnet early on Wednesday.

The raids followed the opening of a criminal inquiry into allegations of aggravated money laundering.

The inquiry comes after revelations that HSBC's Swiss private bank allegedly helped wealthy clients evade taxes.

Analysis of the information and documents gathered will now begin.

Geneva Attorney General Olivier Jornot said the process will take time.

HSBC has apologised to customers and investors over the failing of its Swiss unit but insists the operation has since been overhauled.

Britain's financial watchdog said on 16 February it will investigate HSBC to ensure the failings are behind it.

The French tax authorities, who received Herve Falciani's leaked files, later passed the information to authorities around the world.

US officials opened a criminal investigation and French magistrates put the bank under formal investigation last November.

HSBC's private bank has major operations in Switzerland, London and Hong Kong.