Why did HSBC apologise to Mukesh Ambani, asks Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi: Activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal has questioned the veracity of an apology issued by HSBC to industrialist Mukesh Ambani in January this year, for mistakenly including his name in a list of Indians who allegedly hold unreported bank accounts in its Geneva branch.

The bank's apology was reported in The Economic Times. (Read entire article here)

Mr Kejriwal told NDTV "This was data which was stolen out of the HSBC server. Is HSBC trying to say its computer wrongly created Mukesh Ambani's account?"

At a press conference yesterday, Mr Kejriwal accused a group of industrialists of holding black money in HSBC accounts in Geneva provoking a series of denials. He offered no evidence of his accusations.

He claimed Mr Ambani holds 100 crores in an undeclared HSBC account, which was countered by Reliance Industries Limited. "Reliance Industries Limited denies all allegations made by IAC against Reliance and Mr. Mukesh Ambani in their press conference... Neither Reliance Industries Limited nor Mr. Mukesh Ambani have or had any illegitimate accounts anywhere in the world. (Read press statement from spokesperson of Mukesh Ambani)

Last year, France gave the Indian government a list of 700 Indians who allegedly hold undeclared bank accounts in HSBC in Geneva. The data was leaked by a French employee of the bank, according to some reports.

Mr Kejriwal says his information was based on a senior Congress leader who gave him details of 10 powerful Indians who allegedly featured on the list of 700 account-holders.

Mr Kejriwal told NDTV, "HSBC is saying they wrongly put Mr Ambani's name in the CD, but that list was not prepped by HSBC. That list was prepared by the French government. Why is HSBC apologising? The French government should apologise, if at all. They aren't saying they wrongly put (in his) name. "