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Press watch: Banks

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‘Many banks, particularly US institutions, had been reluctant to sign up to an extra-statutory code [the Code of Practice on Taxation for Banks] because of uncertainty over its implications,’ the Financial Times reported (30 November).

‘However, lawyers said revisions to the code last year diluted its most controversial aspects, leaving a document that would have little bearing on the way banks behaved. The banks’ appetite for aggressive tax planning had, in any case, been curbed by their reduced profitability, one said.’