Why didn’t HMRC act on the information?
An email which the whistleblower behind the explosive HSBC revelations said he sent to HM Revenue & Customs in 2008 has been found.
The email allegedly detailed the bank’s tax avoidance operations.
HMRC has also taken centre stage in the UK as the HSBC scandal has unfolded this week, after being accused of failing to act on the information allegedly sent to them seven years ago.
HMRC said that it had no record of the email.
But now the email has apparently been found.
Herve Falciani is the man who sent the information to HMRC in 2008, and his original email has been recovered by French newspaper Le Monde and shown to the BBC, the BBC reports.
The email was sent to a general enquiries email address at HMRC on 18 March 2008.
Speaking about the recovered email, Falciani said to the BBC: “It required seven years of battles to get the point we are just now.” He added: “It proved that I’m right.”
The details Falciani discovered amount to what has been described as the “biggest banking leak in history”, and implicate many figures including politicians, royals, Russian oligarchs, David Bowie, Phil Collins and Tina Turner, among others, as being involved in shady tax dodging schemes.
According to the BBC, “HSBC did not just turn a blind eye to tax evaders – in some cases it broke the law by actively helping its clients.”
HSBC has said that it has since made major changes to the way it operates.
The Bank of England may look into standards at HMRC after it failed to act on Falciani’s email, a director told the BBC.