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HSBC begs forgiveness over tax avoidance row

High street lender HSBC has begged for forgiveness for its role in the whole tax avoidance row that it’s been at the centre of over the last few days.

Stuart Gulliver, the chief executive of the beleaguered bank, wrote a heartfelt letter to HSB customers and bank staff. The letter, which ended up circulating amongst more than a few of the Sunday papers, includes language such as how the bank had to weather ‘a painful experience’ after its Swiss private bank had been up to no good when it came to how it was more or less handing out tax avoidance schemes to anyone who wandered in out of the cold.  Gulliver swears up and down in his letter how he’d seen to it to give the Swiss bank a complete overhaul.

Meanwhile, business secretary Vince Cable has been losing his bloody mind, ranting on about how there needs to be better tax apparency. He called the HSBC revelations quite unsatisfactory and ‘striking,’ calling on Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs to do shedloads more in taking care of incidents of this nature. Cable went on to say that the ‘big fish’ out there, all those rich bastards and incredibly successful companies, just aren’t being treated seriously by HMRC when it comes to wrongdoing.

Honestly I can’t say that I’m surprised to discover that a High Street bank like HSBC has been caught playing right into the hands of tax avoiders and their ilk. Big, corrupt businesses and their big, corrupt business strategies just love to flock together under big, corrupt products and services offered by big, corrupt financial service providers. I’m not outright accusing anyone of anything… well, not outright. But I am saying that if there was going to be an orchestrated endeavour to liberate as much taxable revenue from the so-called nefarious grip of the taxman, I wouldn’t be shocked in the least to discover that HSBC was behind it.

For what it’s worth, this tax avoidance thing is going to be going on for as long as there are big, corrupt firms with so much money to burn that they can buy and sell politicians to enact tax laws including giant loopholes to be exploited.

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