Further detailed allegations about tax avoidance schemes set up by Barclays Bank emerged from whistleblowers who said the bank made close to £1bn profit a year from a series of elaborate deals.
The Guardian reports the schemes are similar to those detailed in documents published by the paper this week which have been the centre of a three-day hearing at the high court, and are the subject of a gagging order.
The internal Barclays memos were leaked by a mole to the Liberal Democrats. The new allegations reiterate claims that the bank's main purpose in entering into these schemes was to make profit from tax avoidance through an intricate circuit of offshore Cayman Islands and Luxembourg companies. The profits are said to be enormous and the deals so complex that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) struggles to unravel them.
The government revealed on Monday extraordinary plans to seize control of a Caribbean tax haven after a report warned there was a "high probability" that the Turks and Caicos Islands are a centre of systematic corruption, The Guardian reports.
The Foreign Office said that parts of the constitution of the British overseas territory would need to be suspended "including those relating to ministerial government and the House of Assembly, initially for two years".
Alistair Darling will publish proposals with his Budget on 22 April for a voluntary code to ensure the banks obey "the spirit and letter of the law" on taxation, says The Independent.
If they do not comply, he will enshrine the code in law. It is claimed that the state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland tied up £25bn in tax-avoidance schemes while it was expanding, costing the British and US taxpayers more than £500m in lost revenue.
RBS has 238 offshore companies and the Lloyds Banking Group, in which the Government also has a majority stake, has more than than 125. The two banks have insisted they do comply with the law. The code will apply to all banks, including those in the private-sector.
Wealthy individuals and companies will no longer be able to hide their riches in Zurich bank accounts after Switzerland bowed to international pressure to end the era of "no questions asked" banking, reports The Times.
It will join Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Andorra, which also agreed this week to share limited information on their accounts on request from foreign governments, ending 300 years of obstinate banking secrecy. The move is a fillip to Gordon Brown's attempts to clamp down on tax havens at next month's G20 meeting.
Germany's finance minister, Peer Steinbrueck, has been described by an MP in Switzerland as behaving like a 'jackbooted Nazi' for challenging banking secrecy in the country, according to The Telegraph.
Steinbrueck, whose government has campaigned against tax havens and has called for Switzerland to relax its code of banking secrecy, said that he had received hate mail after he was compared on Wednesday by Thomas Mueller to a "generation of Germans ... who went through the streets wearing leather coats, boots and arm-bands".
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