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Thursday, 13 December 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012 Posted by Jake No comments Labels:
Posted by Jake on Thursday, December 13, 2012 with No comments | Labels:

MPs will escape George Osborne’s pensions tax raid
Last week Osborne lowered the tax-free limit on lifetime pension pots to £1.25m. As an example, a male worker in the private sector has to save £1.44m to receive a £43,387 pension. An MP only has to save £867,740, so will not be affected by the change. Experts at Hargreaves Lansdown said the figures show the “historically generous” pensions awarded to MPs. TELEGRAPH
(...And the words “historically generous” show the “historically generous” language used by the experts to describe how our MPs spend eternity with their piggy faces in the trough.)

HSBC 'to pay $1.9bn' in US money laundering settlement 
The UK-based bank, Europe’s biggest, helped launder money belonging to drug cartels and terrorist states. A US Senate investigation found that laundering methods included transporting $7bn in notes from Mexico to the US, and servicing Saudi banks linked to terrorism. HSBC apologised, saying it would claw back pay from any executives involved. “Money laundering” is used to describe when the proceeds of crime are quietly handed to the criminals responsible. BBC NEWS
(...And at HSBC, “salary and bonus” is used to describe when the proceeds of the same crime are handed to HSBC’s executives.)

Rail travellers hit by 10% fares rise
Train operators were accused of deliberately burying this bad news on the day the Government’s handling of the West Coast Main Line franchise was criticised in two reports. The private rail industry relies on an annual £4bn of taxpayer subsidies. TELEGRAPH
(...and a team of sharp spin doctors.)

Which? says bank staff 'still push unsuitable products'
Major mis-selling scandals have failed to change bank behaviour. The Which? survey found 65% of bank sales staff said they were being placed under severe pressure by managers to hit targets. The banks have promised less emphasis on sales commissions that clearly incentivise mis-selling, in favour of better line management. BBC NEWS
("Sales commissions were the carrot. If we're just left with the stick, we're gonna use it." said our bank insider.)

Standard Chartered hit by $300m in Iran fines
Following investigations by US regulators, the UK-based bank has been fined $100m by the US Federal Reserve, and will also pay the US Department of Justice $227m. Standard Chartered moved more than $200m primarily on behalf of Iranian and Sudanese clients by removing information that would have revealed the payments. Once again, the US has successfully exposed as useless the monitoring procedures of a British bank. BBC NEWS
(...and the UK regulators.)

Tax row turns to Microsoft: over £1.7bn of UK online revenues, but zero tax
Microsoft is also accused of dodging $6.5bn in taxes in the US. The OECD said there is a “large and growing gap” between where companies conduct their business and where they record their profits. Low tax jurisdictions exploited by Microsoft include Ireland, Luxembourg, Puerto Rico and Singapore. TELEGRAPH

Buying a property is cheaper than renting in 90% of towns
Servicing an interest-only mortgage on the average property in Britain costs £1,080 less a year than the price of renting. It is more cost effective to 'own' rather than rent in 90% of the top 50 towns in Britain. Fierce tenant competition in 2012 enabled many landlords to raise their asking prices when letting their properties. DAILY MAIL

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