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June 26, 2019updated 27 Jun 2019 1:08pm

Credit Suisse feels John McDonnell’s ire

By Oliver Williams

Swiss bank Credit Suisse has come under attack from the UK’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, for reclaiming £239 million ($298 million) of taxes it paid on bonuses.

The sum relates to a one-off 50% tax on bonuses over £25,000 introduced in 2009 by Alistair Darling, the Labour chancellor at the time.

The UK’s “bonus tax” ran from December 2009 to April 2010.

McDonnell, told the Financial Times: “This is outrageous and Credit Suisse should pay these taxes. People in this country want the rich to shoulder their fair share of responsibilities.”

The tax was paid by banks rather than individual employees. Aidan Robertson, QC, for Credit Suisse, told the High Court in London that Credit Suisse paid a “strikingly unfair” amount.

Nomura, Rothschild and Royal Bank of Canada had avoided the one-off tax because they had paid their bonuses outside the 117-day period when it was in effect, Robertson noted.

The news comes just a week after Credit Suisse was fined HK$2.8m ($3,58,260) by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong for various control lapses. 

The case continues in London’s High Court.

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