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Following the publication of our latest independent, ethical research on UK Banks & Building Societies, the issue of Tax Dodging Banks has naturally come into direct focus. Our research has revealed the good, the bad and the ugly of a number of banks and building societies, including HSBC, which is currently entangled in a huge Tax Avoidance Scandal.

If you missed the news, in November 2014 HSBC’s private banking arm was charged by authorities in Brussels with helping wealthy Belgians avoid taxes. In the last seven days (leading up to the publication of our latest research), the leak of HSBC files has confirmed that, at its height, the Swiss operation of HSBC helped hide somewhere near $120bn in assets.

However, it is not only HSBC that is involved in shady tax dealings. In considering our latest researchfindings, for example, it is no surprise that Action Aid has called out Lloyds, Barclays, RBS and HSBC (the ‘Big 4’ high street banks in the UK) as some of the biggest users of tax havens in the FTSE 100.

But it’s not all bad news. There are things you can do within the current economic circumstance to ensure you are not supporting the actions of these banks. Start by moving your money to an ethical alternative, which will not partake in Corporate Tax Dodging, Dodgy Lending or Questionable Lobbying against progressive policies. Charity Bank, which is an Ethically Accredited Company, is one alternative we highly recommend.

Secondly, support the campaign launched by a number of organisations including Action Aid, Oxfam, Christian Aid and NUS, which calls for the introduction of a Tax Dodging Bill. Write to your MP and tell s/he that you will no longer stand for Corporate Tax Avoidance, and that you support the Tax Dodging Bill in conjunction with broader political and economic change.

For a detailed breakdown of our research, please see the Banks & Building Societies section of The Good Shopping Guide.





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