Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Squeezing (HSBC's) balloons

Whoop whoop – I’ve just had the misfortune to fly enough times for work to qualify for an airline “executive card”, but more of that later.

Before this week HSBC wasn’t especially famous for its private bank. Money laundering? Yep. Shit US mortgages? That too, but private banking? Nope at least not until Panorama and a whistleblower told us all about the shenanigans it’s been getting up to.

The thing is though while Panorama did focus on one of the big questions – why has only one person been prosecuted in the UK given this was industrial scale tax dodging – it didn’t think about the bigger picture, which includes things like this:

If HSBC has run down its private bank since it got caught the way it says it has – its clients will have gone to other private banks.

There already were (and are) lots of other private banks and private bank divisions – so what about them then?

As for the lack of prosecutions, well lets be serious for a mo and cite a concrete example - investing in UK films was quickly spotted as a way of getting all tax efficient by loads of accountants and bankers, so much so some RBS bankers were arrested relatively recently due to their involvement in one. Anyhoo, the other day the solicitor fucking general was identified as someone who invests in film funds i.e. the great, the good and Gary Barlow all appear to be at it meaning HSBC’s real “crime” was getting caught.

That the guy in charge of HSBC when all its shenanigans was going on got ordained as an Anglican minister i.e. is a moralising fuck, just adds to it all.

As for my executive card – it’s a shit one with no real perks; I need another grade to get all the free food, drink and pampering I can manage; tthe point of me saying this being it was fun seeing some of the upper grade (“class” even)  great and good getting doorstepped on the telly because in their lovely, lovely world no one ever, EVA challenges them.

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