People are asking me a simple question at the moment: why are we bailing out the banks when ti seems that the banks have done the best the can to undermine Britain?
Those asking the question are right. The banks have done their utmost to undermine the UK's tax revenues. All the people who were subject to the 2007 tax amnesty covering Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man were customers of the five main Hight Street banks. Over 60,000 admitted they had tax to pay. HMRC thinks the true number may be over 150,000. Not one of these banks had done anything to bring the tax evaders actions to the attention of money laundering authorities anywhere, an action I have always considered illegal on their part.
These banks (and Barclays and Lloyds in particular) are massive players in the 'structured finance' market, which is blatant and aggressive tax avoidance to which they dedicate billions of pounds in capital.
All have operated 'private banking' facilities to aggressively exploit the domicile and other tax arrangements that undermine the prospect of the UK collecting tax due to it.
They populate the major tax havens of the world. Their sole aim in doing so is to undermine the regulation (and ultimately the democratic governments of) the main nations of the world.
So conditions need to be attached to the government bail out of these banks. They are:
1) Close down your tax haven operations, now. Not sell them: close them. And report all those using them who you suspect to be evading UL tax before doing so. That's all who opt out of UK disclosure under the EU Savings Tax Directive, for starters (and I mean all who opt out, not some).
2) Close down your structured fiance operations.
3) Repatriate your offshore profits and have them subjected to UK tax.
4) Close down your private banking advice sections designed to exploit tax loopholes.
It's not much to ask in exchange for the bank's survival, is it?