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Panama Papers and the banks

According to the Panama Papers, banks set up 15,600 offshore companies. HSBC alone set up more than 2,300. HSBC is the bank that nearly lost its US licence a few years ago when it was discovered that one of its clients was one of the most murderous and wealthiest drugs barons in Mexico. It would appear that they didn’t learn from their past mistakes and that the lure of wealth and huge profits made them forget their moral, ethical and legal obligations.

But the Panama Papers could be just the tip of the iceberg –  let’s not pretend for a minute that there was anything unusual about Mossack Fonseca, because there was not. This is just one of a host of law firms in tax havens doing remarkably similar things. The need is for the FCA to demand that banks put on record all their connections with secrecy jurisdiction lawyers, accountants etc.

This could all lead to hefty fines for the banks, on top of the fines they have already had for fixing the FX markets, gold prices, Libor – the list goes on and on. Plus, hopefully it will help ensure investment banks are a lot more transparent on what they are doing and with whom in the future. 

With this in mind, be cautious as to where you place your money as some banks may struggle to survive.

If you want to know what your options are, I am here to help you find the right solution to make your money work for you in the most tax-efficient way possible. You can find out more about our financial management services here and get in touch with me directly by filling in an enquiry form

This communication is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute, and should not be construed as, investment advice, investment recommendations or investment research. You should seek advice from a professional adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in this communication is correct, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions.

Other News

The safest European cities

Windmill in the NetherlandsWhat would you look for when choosing a destination to move to abroad? A sea-side location with warm weather all year round, lots of culture and opportunity for adventure, perhaps? Or a place with a great economy and plenty of career prospects?

We guess there’s one key issue for almost all expats, though, and particularly for those moving abroad with young families, and that would be safety. Large cities can sometimes be dangerous places, so it’s good to know which have robust security and protection systems in place.

Luckily, The Economist Intelligence Unit has made it very easy to determine the risks by compiling a comprehensive study entitled the Safe Cities Index.

Read More

British expats in the Netherlands could do with more financial help

French FlagWe all need a little bit of extra help from time to time.

For instance, in one popular expat destination, the Netherlands, research was recently published to suggest that many expats could do with more financial help.

The survey, carried out by the International Community Advisory Panel (ICAP), an independent foundation hoping to strengthen the connection between the Netherlands’ international community and the Dutch government, has shown that the majority of expats living in the Netherlands do not receive enough help from the Dutch government when it comes to several key matters, including finding affordable housing and integrating their children into the school system.

Read More

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