Bloomberg News

Bankers Among Those Arrested in U.K. Revenue’s Tax Inquiry

February 12, 2012

(Updates with RBS comment in second paragraph.)

Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- A number of employees at U.K. banks were among people arrested as part of a tax-related investigation, the country’s customs and revenue service said in a statement, without providing further details.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Britain’s largest state- controlled bank, said in a separate statement it was co- operating with the HM Revenue & Customs inquiry.

“As a result of an ongoing investigation into tax-related criminal offenses, HMRC has arrested a number of people, some of whom work for U.K. banks,” a revenue service spokesman, who asked not to be identified in line with department policy, said by phone today. “This investigation relates to the actions of the people arrested in relation to their own financial affairs and is not connected to the business activities of the banks.”

The inquiry is in connection with the use of film finance plans to evade taxes, the Sunday Telegraph reported. Film investment has become a common way to claim tax relief, the newspaper said.

“We cannot comment on an ongoing investigation but are fully co-operating with HMRC,” RBS said in an e-mailed statement today.

U.K taxpayers had been allowed to take advantage of tax relief by investing in film production, a practice that was limited to allow 25,000 pounds ($39,400) in tax relief a year unless they were actively involved in the film, according to the Telegraph.

The HMRC spokesman declined to say how many people had been arrested or who they work for.

--Editors: Alex Devine, Jonas Bergman

To contact the reporter on this story: Howard Mustoe in London at hmustoe@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net


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