Monday, December 19, 2011

UK banks ‘cheat’ Europe in €600m tax scheme

From the Bureau of Investigative Journalism:
Some of the city of London’s biggest banks are behind a huge tax avoidance trade ‘cheating’ European countries of hundreds of millions of euros a year in a development that sheds fresh light on David Cameron’s decision to wield Britain’s EU veto to protect the Square Mile.

A two-month study by the Bureau has uncovered a discreet $102bn market in European shares whose ‘central’ purpose is tax avoidance. The Bureau’s analysis suggests the European tax loss – mainly to France, Germany and Italy – is up to €595m a year. The scale of tax avoidance will fuel further anger within the EU towards the Square Mile, where the vast majority of the trade known as dividend arbitrage is conducted.
And TJN's opinions are involved:
"Markus Meinzer, applied researcher and analyst at the Tax Justice Network, said: ’This issue highlights a structural flaw in our current international financial system. Governments refuse to institute robust transparency and cooperation mechanisms in view of aggressive financial sector lobbying and because of the bizarre, yet largely unchallenged view of alleged benefits flowing from competition between states.’ "
Well said. Now read on. And see Nick Mathiason's story in The Observer.

Oh, and then there's this, which was also in the UK news. Revealed: how City fees are eating into our pensions. Makes you love 'em even more . . .


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