Spain’s Podemos party says Falciani, source of HSBC leaks, to advise it

The leader of Spanish anti-austerity party Podemos (We Can) confirms that Herve Falciani, the so-called HSBC whistle-blower, will help his party with its election programme by producing a tax fraud report for the Spanish party.

STRASBOURG, FRANCE (FEBRUARY 10, 2015) (REUTERS) – Herve Falciani, the former HSBC employee who supplied information on the bank’s clients and their tax situation, will help upstart Spanish political party Podemos (We Can) with its election programme, the leader of Podemos Pablo Iglesias said on Tuesday (February 10).

“Mr. Falciani is going to make a contribution for us by forming a work group with him with the goal of creating a package of measures against fiscal fraud and tax havens, which are probably two of the problems that have more impact on European citizens and have conditioned a type of a European governance which has translated into increasing inequality and deep social injustice,” Iglesias told a news conference in Strasbourg.

HSBC client data obtained by Falciani is at the centre of a storm over the British bank. HSBC has admitted failings by its Swiss private bank, after media reports that it helped wealthy customers dodge taxes and conceal millions of dollars of assets

Falciani used to work in IT at HSBC’s Swiss subsidiary and has described himself as a whistleblower trying to help governments track down tax evaders.

“Mr. Falciani is an expert. He is also a brave man who has dared to do what many governments should have done, which is to investigate the accounts of all those who rob us all, and it is crucial to take measures to end this scourge against democracy that underpins a financial totalitarianism that goes against citizens. For us it is an honour to be able to count on Mr. Falciani as an advisor helping us to put together a package of measures that we will apply when we win the election,” said the 36-year-old leader of Podemos.

Anti-establishment Podemos, which is barely a year old, has risen rapidly in opinion polls, some of which show it would win a general election due later this year, ending decades of a two-party system in Spain.

The movement has tapped into widespread anger over corruption cases in political and business circles.

Falciani, who has French and Italian citizenship, speaks Spanish. He stood as a candidate for Spain’s small anti-corruption party Partido X in last year’s European parliament elections, although the group did not win any seats.

Falciani could not be reached by Reuters on Monday (February 9) for comment on the latest revelations regarding HSBC or any role he might have with Podemos.