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Apology to HSBC

Apology to HSBC over 17 April story ‘HSBC in disclosure dispute’

In our 17 April front-page story ‘HSBC in disclosure dispute’ we said that
HSBC’s accounting for off-balance sheet vehicles had been questioned, saying
that the bank should have put two structured investment vehicles (SIVs) worth
$40bn on its balance sheet earlier.

We unreservedly withdraw the allegation that there is a disclosure dispute
and wish to make it clear that this claim was without foundation and that HSBC
brought the SIVs on to its balance sheet at the appropriate time.

The story also quoted Company Reporting saying the bank was guilty of a
‘shortfall in disclosure’. This comment had been withdrawn by Company Reporting
before Accountancy Age went to press and should not have appeared in the
article, as Accountancy Age had been made aware that the comment had been
withdrawn.

There is no doubt or uncertainty as to HSBC’s accounting treatment of its
SIVs. In fact, HSBC’s transparency on these matters was highlighted by the
Senior Supervisors Group of worldwide financial regulators which referred this
month to the bank as a ‘leading practice firm’ for its disclosure of structured
investment vehicles.

Accountancy Age would like to apologise to HSBC for our errors.

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