Press release

Top 15 banks sign Code of Practice

The Government today announced that the top fifteen banks operating in the UK have adopted the Code of Practice on Taxation.

The Government today announced that the top fifteen banks operating in the UK have adopted the Code of Practice on Taxation.

As at the 17 October 2010, only four out of the top fifteen banks had adopted the code since its introduction in 2009.

The Treasury therefore asked HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to ensure that all the major banks signed up by the end of November 2010.

The top 15 banks that have adopted the code are:

  • BANK OF AMERICA/MERRILL
  • BARCLAYS
  • CITIGROUP (CITIBANK)
  • CREDIT SUISSE
  • DEUTSCHE BANK
  • GOLDMAN SACHS
  • HSBC
  • JP MORGAN CHASE
  • LLOYDS BANKING GROUP
  • MORGAN STANLEY
  • NATIONWIDE BUILDING SOCIETY
  • ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND
  • SANTANDER
  • STANDARD CHARTERED
  • UBS

The code of practice states:

  • Banks should have strong governance around tax, which is integrated into their business decision making.
  • They should follow the spirit of the law in addition to the letter - this means banks can undertake tax planning to support their business operations, but this should not be used to achieve tax results that are contrary to the intentions of Parliament.
  • HMRC and the banks should work together to encourage mutually open and transparent relationships.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:

A year ago, the previous Government announced that it would require banks to sign up to the Code of Practice on Taxation. At the start of October this year only four out of the top fifteen had done so. I said that this was unacceptable and I gave them a deadline of end of November 2010 to sign up.

That deadline arrived today and I am pleased to say that all fifteen banks have signed up. Alongside the bank levy, this shows that the Coalition Government is taking action to ensure banks pay their fair share - unlike the previous Government, which talked tough, but failed to deliver.

Notes for Editors

  1. The code of practice on taxation for banks can be found on the HMRC website (opens in new browser window)

  2. The Chancellor confirmed at the Comprehensive Spending Review on the 20 October 2010 that the top 15 banks would be expected to adopt the Code of Practice by the end of November 2010.

Non-media enquiries should be addressed to the Treasury Correspondence and Enquiry Unit on
020 7270 4558 or by e-mail to public.enquiries@hm-treasury.gov.uk

Media enquiries should be addressed to the Treasury Press Office on 020 7270 5238.

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