The taxpayer bailouts of the banks have had dire consequences for the country. But while we’ve been enduring austerity, the super-rich have been squirreling their money away in tax havens. Now it turns out that one of the top banks helping them to do that, Coutts, is indirectly owned by the very taxpayers it is ripping off.
Coutts has been named in the Panama Papers as one of the worst offenders when it comes to helping the super-rich use offshore havens to avoid paying taxes. The private bank, which counts the Queen among its customers, instructed Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca to set up 487 shell companies to help its clients avoid paying taxes, according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). That puts it among the ‘top ten’ banks implicated in the biggest data leak in history: