The City is a semi-offshore state, a bit like the UK’s crown dependencies and overseas territories, tax havens legitimized by the Privy Council. Britain’s financial secrecy undermines the tax base while providing a conduit into the legal economy for gangsters, kleptocrats and drug barons.
Even the more orthodox financial institutions deploy a succession of scandalous practices: pension mis-selling, endowment mortgage fraud, the payment protection insurance con, Libor rigging. A former minister in the last government, Lord Green, ran HSBC while it engaged in money laundering for drug gangs, systematic tax evasion and the provision of services to Saudi and Bangladeshi banks linked to the financing of terrorists. Sometimes the UK looks to me like an ever so civilised mafia state.
– From last year’s post: Guardian Op-Ed – The City of London Has Turned Britain Into a “Civilized Mafia State”
This shouldn’t come as any surprise to Liberty Blitzkrieg readers, but it’s a provocative statement nonetheless.
From The Independent: