RBS: state owned and at least 128 tax haven companies

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There was some excellent research in the Sunday Herald today, to which I was pleased to have contributed. Take this:

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, one of the so-called "jewels" of the Scottish economy, has beneficial shareholdings in at least 128 companies incorporated in tax havens, according to its annual return.

Included in its portfolio are 62 firms in the Cayman Islands, 29 in Jersey, 11 in Guernsey, seven in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and four in the Bahamas.

There's much more here.

Then you'll realise why I said:

I think these banks should close down their offshore subsidiaries. This is because the government cannot have a stake in companies that undermine the government. Closing them down could be done as it is a commercial choice to operate in tax havens.

I think it's a position for which there is growing support. As the Herald concluded in the second part of the story:

It's time to make our banks honest again. As a condition of our continuing to pay public money to save financial institutions, they must agree to pay their taxes like the rest of us.