British anti-HSBC bank protests

This video from Britain is called Al Qaeda’s bank [HSBC] in cocaine bust.

By Rory MacKinnon in Britain:

UK Uncut protesters picket branches of tax-dodging HSBC

Sunday 21 July 2013

Makeshift foodbanks sprang up outside shuttered HSBC branches across Britain on Saturday as demonstrators of UK Uncut took on the serial tax-dodger.

The banks’ branches in Glasgow, Sheffield and London opted to shut-up shop entirely rather than face the protests, telling customers they were closed “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

Another nine offices remained open despite the pickets, which handed out food parcels in a bid to highlight “punishing” welfare cuts.

Around half a million people in Britain now regularly rely on food banks according to charity Oxfam. In April the Trussel Trust’s national food bank network reported a 170 per cent rise in demand over the previous 12 months.

Charities have pinned the crisis on the coalition’s deep cuts to welfare, while whistleblowers in the Department of Work and Pensions have alleged the deliberate use of sanction “quotas” and league tables to further cut the welfare bill by denying claimants’ payments.

UK Uncut said today such cuts were unnecessary when legislators could force companies like HSBC to pay their full share of tax.

Northampton demonstrator Robert McGarr said the cuts proved the government was “only interested in punishing the poorest.

“While families go hungry, this government of millionaires lets its friends in the banks and big business avoid billions of pounds of tax,” he said.

The crisis demanded “real change,” he added, such as a general anti-avoidance rule and detailed public records of companies’ offshore accounts rather than “cosmetic tinkering.”

The bank is one of the FTSE 100‘s most prolific tax-dodgers with more than 550 shell companies in tax havens worldwide.

Its Swiss accounts alone are believed to have helped Britain’s wealthiest individuals to dodge more than £200 million in tax, while in 2011 HSBC was caught diverting more than £38m in profits from hospital PFI schemes into a Guernsey shell company – thereby paying less than 0.5 per cent in tax.

The London-based bank has even engaged in outright organised crime.

In December it admitted to laundering at least £576m in cash for some of the world’s most notorious drug cartels in Mexico and Colombia.

But Britain’s Financial Services Authority refused to fine the bank at all, while the US Justice department dropped criminal charges in lieu of a £1.2 billion settlement, or around five weeks’ worth of profits.

12 thoughts on “British anti-HSBC bank protests

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