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***Realised I have posted quite many news today and I apologise if it is clogging your email boxes out there, will try to squeeze these ones in a single post instead. Hallelujah 🙂

Swiss Banks UBS, Credit Suisse Raided By German, French Authorities Over Tax Evasion By Katharina Bart and Arno Schuetze

ZURICH/FRANKFURT, July 11 (Reuters) – German tax authorities have raided Credit Suisse clients and French officials searched the homes of UBS employees, deepening the crackdown on foreigners hiding money in Swiss offshore accounts to dodge taxes.

Switzerland’s strict banking secrecy rules, which have helped build a $2 trillion offshore financial sector, have infuriated cash-strapped governments as they try to crack down on tax evasion by wealthy citizens.

Roughly 5,000 German clients of Credit Suisse are being probed on suspicion of tax evasion and some had their homes searched, a bank source said on Wednesday, as European tax officials broaden their investigation to include clients as well as banks.

Meanwhile, the offices of UBS in Lyon, Bordeaux and Strasbourg were raided on Tuesday on suspicion of money-laundering and aiding tax evasion, according to a bank source.

The private homes of several high-ranking UBS employees in Strasbourg were also searched, the source said.

It was not immediately clear whether the raids in Germany and France were coordinated or in any way connected.

A spokesman for UBS said the bank was cooperating with authorities. The French prosecutor’s office declined to comment because the investigation is ongoing.

In Germany, tax authorities in Bochum and Duesseldorf are probing Credit Suisse clients over Bermuda-based life insurance products used by clients to avoid tax, the bank source said. Tax officials in both towns declined to comment.

In the product description, the bank states that clients are responsible for their tax affairs and that the bank can claim reimbursement from clients if taxes or fees are levied against the bank.

Credit Suisse struck a deal with Germany last September, which saw the bank pay 150 million euros ($183.83 million) to German tax authorities in a bid to end an investigation over allegations the bank and its employees helped Germans dodge taxes.

Germany and France, along with Britain, represent the largest markets in Europe for Swiss private banks.

The German investigation also comes against the backdrop of a deal struck with Switzerland to levy taxes on German funds stashed in Swiss bank accounts that is due to come into effect next year, a l though German lawmakers still have to approve it.

UBS was forced in 2009 to pay a fine and release the names of 4,500 clients to U.S. officials to end a damaging tax probe. U.S. authorities are still investigating Swiss banks including Credit Suisse and Julius Baer over tax offences.

Switzerland is trying to get the U.S. investigations dropped in exchange for the payment of fines and the transfer of names of thousands more U.S. bank clients.

Lloyds Banking Group could have to pay out more than £1bn over claims it was involved in the manipulation of Libor, according to City analysts.

Lloyds could face £1.5bn claim over Libor - analysts

Analysts at broker Liberum Capital warned the market reaction to Lloyds’ potential exposure to the Libor scandal had been ‘too sanguine’. Photo: Getty Images

By , Banking Correspondent

12:45PM BST 11 Jul 2012

Lloyds Banking Group could have to pay out more than £1bn over claims it was involved in the manipulation of Libor, according to City analysts.

In a note to clients this morning, analysts at broker Liberum Capital warned the market reaction to Lloyds’ potential exposure had been “too sanguine” and said the bank could face having to pay out at least £1.5bn.

Liberum said investors were under the “mistaken impression” that because of the relatively small size of Lloyds’ derivatives book, which at £2.1 trillion is less than a tenth the size of Barclays’, the bank was “relatively insulated from this issue”.

“The potential liability is likely to extend well beyond each bank’s own customers. On that basis, the market reaction appears too sanguine regarding Lloyds’ potential exposure,” said Liberum.

A payout of £1.5bn would be equal to about 7pc of the lender’s market value and is arrived at by calculating the likelihood of successful litigation against the breakdown of the cost for the 16 banks implicated in Libor rigging.

So far, Barclays is the only bank to have admitted it attempted to manipulate the world’s key borrowing rate, however more settlements are expected in the coming months and years.

Barclays paid £290m to the US and British authorities to close their investigations into over Libor rigging and also agreed a clause with the US Department of Justice that removes the chance of further action being taken against it.

Along with Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland is also being investigated over its involvement, while HSBC is providing help to the authorities, but is not itself being investigated.

Analyst estimates have varied widely on the costs of settling the various investigations going on around the world, as well as meeting legal claims.

Under some estimates, the costs of settling Libor cases purely related to interest rate swaps could end up in the multiple billions of dollars.

Lloyds could face £1.5bn claim over Libor – analysts – Telegraph.

Protest at police reinforcements plan for Northern Ireland

Police federations in Northern Ireland and Great Britain have protested against arrangements to bring in officers from England and Wales as reinforcements.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland has insisted it has adequate resources to deal with outbreaks of violence from loyalists and republicans during this year’s marching season. There are no immediate plans to introduce extra officers.

Police Federation Northern Ireland chairman Terry Spence and Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, claimed the planned deployment of police officers from England and Wales to Northern Ireland demonstrates the lack of resources available to police Northern Ireland effectively during the July 12 marching season.

“Although the Police Federation of Northern Ireland would welcome aid from police officers from England and Wales, to put unarmed and untrained officers into a potentially volatile environment is impractical and puts them at real risk,” they said.

“We ask that this planned mutual aid is put on hold until there is a full consultation process about this proposed action.”

Assistant chief constable Will Kerr said mutual aid arrangements are a key part of contingency planning by all UK police in dealing with exceptional circumstances such as the London Olympics or unforeseen events. There is nothing new about mutual aid and it is enabled by specific legislation.

“It would be remiss of the PSNI not to have contingency plans in place in order to deal with such exceptional circumstances should they arise, which is why we participate in the ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) Interoperability Programme,” he said.

“The PSNI have both received and provided specialist assistance under these arrangements and have trained and exercised with a number of police forces in the UK.

“Over the coming days, as with every major policing operation, we will objectively consider all options as circumstances require.

“At this point, no public order officers from police services in England and Wales have been deployed to police in Northern Ireland over the 12th July.”

Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/protest-at-police-reinforcements-plan-for-northern-ireland-16183913.html#ixzz20OCbDQGM


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