HSBC bank says it is looking into allegations that criminals have used offshore accounts at its Jersey operation for money laundering.
The bank issued a statement after the Daily Telegraph newspaper said it was at the centre of a major investigation by HM Revenue and Customs.
HSBC said it was investigating "an alleged loss of certain client data in Jersey as a matter of urgency".
The BBC's business editor Robert Peston told Today presenter John Humphrys that HSBC "accept that they got a lot wrong over the past few years all round the world
but they don't think necessary they will emerge from this investigation as being shown to be particularly lax in their controls".
However he went to point out: "There is no doubt that HSBC is suffering pretty severe reputational damage."
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