Tax Avoidance (HSBC)

Part of Isil – in the House of Commons at 3:35 pm on 23rd February 2015.

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Photo of George Osborne George Osborne The Chancellor of the Exchequer 3:35 pm, 23rd February 2015

These abuses happened when there was a Labour Government in office. That Government, and the former Chancellor, set in place the selective prosecution policy. We have increased the resources and, as a result, the number of prosecutions has gone up fivefold. There is still one particular barrier, however, to the potential prosecution of HSBC Swiss if it is found to have committed a crime. That barrier is the agreement signed by the last Government with the French Government, and we are currently in negotiations with the French Government to unravel that terrible agreement. Then, our independent prosecuting authorities will see whether there are any cases to bring.