The Rev Lord Stephen Green: breathing easy

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I have mentioned this morning the fact that under the proposed UK - Swiss tax deal Swiss banks are to be given immunity from prosecution in the UK for their past assistance to those evading their UK tax liabilities.

I realised I have not mentioned on the blog one possible beneficiary. I have howver metnioned him in the past, as on 27 September 2010 when I wrote:

The BBC has reported:

Hundreds of wealthy UK taxpayers have been sent letters by HM Revenue & Customs over possible large-scale tax evasion, the BBC has learned.

It is understood HMRC has acquired a list of high net-worth individuals with accounts at the Swiss division of HSBC.

The list was stolen by an employee and passed to the taxman by the French authorities. The bank is not accused of any wrongdoing.

The campaign comes after the government announced a crackdown on tax avoidance.

This is good news. And let’s have none of the nonsense that the list was stolen. We’ve always paid informers to tackle crime.

As for the bank’s behaviour, I note what the BBC says. But it always baffles me as to how a bank can be innocent in these cases. It has a duty to make sure it is not handling money laundered funds. Tax evaded money is money laundered in my opinion.

Also note this is HSBC. Why’s that relevant? Why, because of the Rev Stephen Green, of course! This is him:

I’m sure he delivers a great sermon. No doubt he asks his congregation to admit and repent of their sins, regularly. But a Stephen Green is also the chairman of HSBC. This is him:

Yes, they are the same guy.

And extraordinarily there’s been a chap called Stephen Green who has been chair of HSBC Private Banking Holdings (Suisse) SA. Yep, that HSBC’s Swiss private bank. This is him:

Same guy. He’s busy, isn’t he?

And then note that a chap called Stephen Green is shortly to become Lord Green and become Trade Minister in the ConDem government. Who could it be? No, surely not:

Oh yes it is.

Perhaps in his new role he’s like to tell HMRC where they should be looking.

And now he can't, HMRC can't ask him, and nor need they have a moment's concern about his past role because they have no right left to question it.

How terribly convenient!

Triples communion wines all round, I'd say.