The news is expected to make uncomfortable reading for those who have been arguing that new regulations and disclosure laws have been at last putting an end to the use of so-called tax havens by wealthy people and companies keen to hide their assets from authorities.
In its online report, the BBC says the leaked documents “revealed how the rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth”, as well as to help its clients to “launder money, dodge sanctions and evade tax”.
Those mentioned in the report are UK Politicians, current heads of governments from across the world, dictators, celebrities and the super-rich. Even David Cameron is under pressure to reveal if his family still has cash in tax havens after it was revealed his late father Ian ran an investment fund that never had to pay tax in Britain. But worse was yet to come; British-owned or London-based banks were revealed to be at the heart of the Panama tax scandal.
Leaked documents show that HSBC, Rothschild, Coutts and UBS – all giants of the banking industry – are among the top 10 banks who asked Mossack Fonseca to set up 15,600 offshore companies. HSBC, Britain’s biggest bank and the second largest in the world, helped set up more than 2300 offshore companies, according to leaked documents. Private bank Coutts set up almost 500 offshore companies over the past 40 years, Swiss Bank UBS, whose investment bank is based in London, asked for 1,300 offshore companies for clients.
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