RBS avoided £500m of tax in global deals
Royal Bank of Scotland tied up at least £25bn in complex international tax-avoidance schemes during its boom years, costing the British and US treasuries more than £500m in lost revenue, the Guardian can disclose.
It is the first time that a major bank has admitted the existence of such deals on this scale. The new management at RBS, mindful of the fact that it is now 70% owned by the taxpayer, has disbanded the department responsible and will put an end to the controversial practice.
“The idea that we could take support from the Treasury with one hand and somehow pick their pocket with the other would be wrong on every level. We have always sought to avoid this sort of stance and that’s more important now than ever. It’s not a sustainable way to do business,” said an RBS source.
The previous management, led by Sir Fred Goodwin – who is now retired with a £700,000-a-year pension – presided over a massive expansion of so-called “structured trades”.
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