Question 9 – Tax

Does the bank avoid tax? How much tax did the bank pay in the UK last year in proportion to its profits?

Some major banks have hundreds or even thousands of subsidiary companies, some of which may be in tax havens. Maintaining subsidiary companies in tax havens is often a way of legally avoiding tax.

Action Aid has produced a “Tax Haven Tracker” to provide accessible information about the use of tax havens by companies in the FTSE 100. You can use this to find out about your bank’s use of tax havens. The detailed research was undertaken in 2011. Action Aid concluded in a review in 2013 that “very little had changed”.

Five banks were included in the research: Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Standard Chartered and RBS.

Move Your Money lists information on banks’ tax avoidance in its summary of the problems with mainstream UK banks.

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