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HSBC 'helped pass funds to Madoff'

The court-appointed New York-based trustee trying to recover losses for victims of Bernard Madoff has accused HSBC of fuelling the disgraced financier's massive fraud.

Trustee Irving Picard announced a lawsuit against the British-based bank that seeks nine billion US dollars.

The lawsuit was filed in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Mr Picard alleges HSBC helped funnel more than 8.9 billion US dollars (£5.7 billion) to Madoff through a dozen so-called feeder funds based in Europe, the Caribbean and Central America.

He also says it ignored warnings from its own accountants that his phenomenal investment record was suspect.

An HSBC spokeswoman declined to comment on Sunday.

Madoff is serving a 150-year term in federal prison.

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