Stephen Green is a minister in the Church of England.
I'm sure he delivers a great sermon. No doubt he asks his congregation to admit and repent of their sins, regularly.
Stephen Green is the chairman of HSBC.
Yes, they are the same guy. And in this second capacity he delivers a good degree of secrecy. Which no doubt some use to tell little of their sins, and then decidedly infrequently.
How do I know this? Well, it just so happens that Rev Green one of the biggest suppliers of corruption services in the world. He's, amongst other things, chair of HSBC Private Banking Holdings (Suisse) SA. Home to all that's private, I'm sure. Not a word said outside the confessional to anyone. And right now HSBC is growing it's private banking division by 24% a year - faster by far than anything else it does. Over $1.5 billion worth in all in 2007.
How's it doing that? Easy, by moving East. As the Observer reported yesterday, one official in Liechtenstein has asked:
Look at the number of East Asian locations - Macao, Hong Kong, Singapore, Labuan - that European high net worth individuals have already settled on. Why has HSBC set up in these places with European clients?
A good question. Why indeed? What's so good about being unaccountable Reverend Green? And how is providing secrecy services compatible with your faith?
If you want to debate it, just call.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Church of England