HSBC facing accusations regarding Mubarak regime

One UK provider of personal and business bank accounts is now facing accusations that it aided to enrich senior business and political figures from Egypt’s recently ousted Mubarak regime.

Banking giant HSBC has been accused of raising more than £450 million in venture capital for two of the largest and most controversial property development firms in Egypt.  Both companies are currently involved in court cases on charges of corruption, according to not-for-profit organisation Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Based at City University in London, the BIJ also states that HSBC was the most active investment banking entity in Egypt and that its Egyptian board of directors had two individuals who went on to become ministers of state with oversight of privatisations and land sales under Mubarak in 2004.

The involvement of HSBC with the controversial Egyptian business magnates has been raising questions about what role the bank’s former chairman played.  Former head Lord Green stepped down from his position to accept an appointment as a governmental investment and trade minister at the behest of David Cameron.

Caroline Lucas, MP for the Green Party, stated that the links between HSBC and the Mubarak regime were shocking.  Stating that such links cast a long shadow of doubt on the judgment of Lord Green, Ms Lucas added that Mr Cameron should consider if Lord Green was still suitable as a governmental representative in light of the current investigation.

The role HSBC played in securing hundreds of millions in capital for firms that were controlled by senior politicians in Egypt included jointly underwriting for Palm Hills Developments, one of the African country’s most controversial firms. In March of 2010, Palm Hills’ share offering raised the equivalent of £77 million.

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