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HSBC must release report on fund hit by link to Madoff

HSBC Holdings Plc must disclose a report on the status of an Irish fund that lost money investing in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme, a court in Dublin said. The HSBC report doesn't have to exceed the obligations specified in regulations, Judge Frank Clarke ruled yesterday.

Lawyers for Aforge Finance SAS, the French investor that filed the case, said the information had not been made available.

"There is an obligation to produce a report for the benefit of Aforge and the other investors," Clarke said. He said he wasn't making a ruling on whether HSBC had made the necessary data available.

HSBC, Europe's largest bank, is facing investor complaints in Ireland for allegedly failing in its duties as custodian for Thema Fund Plc, a European Union-regulated fund that had $1.1bn in assets two weeks before Madoff's arrest. Custodians are charged with oversight of funds, and manage deposits and payments to investors.

Clarke said almost all of the funds invested in Thema "are currently lost, apparently as a result of the fallout from the collapse of the Madoff empire".

Madoff (72) pleaded guilty in 2009 to fraud and was sentenced to 150 years in prison. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent