HSBC facing multiple lawsuits in Ireland over 'Madoff investment'

15 October 2009

HSBC Holdings is facing a potential 60 lawsuits in Ireland after investors lost money it had given to the bank in Bernard Madoff's notorious Ponzi fraud.

A Dublin court is to decide later this week whether investors can pursue a lawsuit against HSBC, which is alleged to have breached its custodian services to the clients.

It is claimed that HSBC Institutional Trust Services in Ireland used Madoff's investment securities subsidiary.

Earlier this year, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison for masterminding the scheme.

His brother and his wife have also been named in separate lawsuits relating to the scam.

The largest claimant in the HSBC case is Thema International Fund, which is seeking around $1.5 billion for its investors.

Individual shareholders, including finance houses and foreign banks, have also launched claims against the bank.

HSBC spokesman Brendan McNamara told Bloomberg: "HSBC considers that it has good defenses to these claims and will continue to defend them vigorously."

By Asim Shah

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