About This Project: Swiss Leaks

Swiss Leaks is a collaborative investigation that exposes how the Swiss branch of one of the world’s biggest banks, HSBC, profited from doing business with tax dodgers and criminals around the world. 

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists worked with more than 140 reporters in 45 countries to analyze 60,000 leaked files, some of which provide explicit details of how the bank was aware of wrongdoing by some clients. The total value held in the bank accounts exceeds $100 billion. After learning of ICIJ’s investigation, HSBC acknowledged that it was “accountable for past compliance and control failures.”

The documents obtained by ICIJ via the French newspaper Le Monde are already the basis of tax investigations in multiple countries after originally being shared by French tax authorities. The leaked files provide details on the names, professions and value of assets of over 100,000 HSBC clients, who included royalty, politicians, public figures, celebrities and business leaders in more than 200 countries. It is not illegal to have a Swiss bank account and there is no indication that most clients of HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) have done anything wrong.

ICIJ and its media partners used traditional reporting methods as well as data analysis and online tools designed especially for this project.

The Team

Project managers: Gerard Ryle (ICIJ) and Serge Michel (Le Monde)

ICIJ Deputy Director: Marina Walker Guevara

Data Editor: Mar Cabra

Research Editor: Emilia Diaz-Struck

Editors: Martha M. Hamilton and Tom Stites 

Online Editor: Hamish Boland-Rudder

Web Applications Developers: Rigoberto Carvajal and Matthew Caruana Galizia

Graphic designers: Alvaro Ortiz, Amaya Verde and Mariano Zafra

ICIJ reporters: Will Fitzgibbon, Elliot Blair Smith, Ryan Chittum, Charles R. Babcock

Researchers: Cécile Schilis-Gallego, Marcos Garcia Rey, and Delphine Reuter

Fact checkers: Peter Smith and Crina Boros


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