BUENOS AIRES, March 9 (Reuters) - Argentina wants HSBC Holdings Plc to repatriate $3.5 billion that it says the bank's Argentine branch moved offshore to help clients evade taxes and move capital abroad, the country's tax chief Ricardo Echegaray said on Monday.
"Without tax collection, there is no government, there is no public policy, there is no State, that is to say there is no country," he said, according to a copy of the speech Echegaray gave in Argentina's London embassy.
In November Argentina charged HSBC with helping more than 4,000 clients evade taxes by stashing their money in secret Swiss bank accounts. HSBC Argentina rejected the charge, saying it respected Argentine law.
Britain has asked Argentina for information about the South American country's investigation into HSBC. (Reporting by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)