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HSBC says sorry over past record

HSBC apologised for past practices at its Swiss private bank after allegations that it helped hundreds of clients to dodge taxes.

Europe's largest bank said in full-page ads in British newspapers that recent media coverage that focused on the Swiss operation and financial affairs of some of its clients had been a painful experience. It said standards in place today "were not universally in place" in the past.

"We therefore offer our sincerest apologies," HSBC said.