The FT reports:
The beleaguered banking industry is under fire from a new direction. The world's largest tax authorities are setting their sights on the aggressive avoidance fostered by some banks' structured finance divisions.
This became clear this month when 40-odd government revenue heads discussed tax avoidance at a meeting in Cape Town under the aegis of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The general mood of the meeting was conciliatory: they proposed forging an "enhanced relationship" with corporate taxpayers and advisers in the hope they would be more transparent in return for better treatment from the tax authorities.
But the banks were not promised an "enhanced relationship". Instead, the OECD agreed to undertake a further study into the way that some banks exploit aggressive tax planning opportunities for their clients, the inter-bank finance market and for their own proprietary trading activities.
And then Accountancy Age reports that HM Revenue & Customs have 150 inspectors in one company right now.
So which bank is in the firing line? After all, HMRC wrote the OECD report. There has to be a link.