Pressure on the Tory Party chairman increases as the head of HMRC says there are no penalties for ‘innocent errors’.
Nadhim Zahawi has authorised HM Revenue & Customs to pass details of his tax affairs to the Prime Minister’s ethics adviser – who is investigating if he broke the rules for ministers – as Rishi Sunak continued to resist calls to sack him.
Pressure on the Tory Party chairman, who has admitted paying a penalty as part of an estimated £4.8 million settlement with HMRC, intensified after the head of the organisation said such penalties were not issued for “innocent errors”.
A source close to Mr Zahawi said that he has now given HMRC permission to speak to Sir Laurie Magnus who is investigating whether his actions represented a breach of the Ministerial Code of Conduct.
Earlier, giving evidence to MPs, the head of HMRC Jim Harra said that while he could not comment on individual cases there were “no penalties for innocent errors in your tax affairs”.
Speaking during a Cabinet away day at Chequers – his grace-and-favour country residence – Mr Sunak said he would wait for Sir Laurie’s report before making any decisions while refusing to be … Read More
NatWest is to shut another 23 branches in England and Wales, adding to a raft of high street banking closures already announced this month.
The sites will close in the first half of this year. The bank said the closures were due to more customers moving to mobile and online banking.
It comes a week after Lloyds Banking Group said it would close 40 Halifax and Lloyds sites in England and Wales. Lloyds said the number of customers visiting the branches it plans to close had dropped by 60% on average over the last five years.
The latest announcement from NatWest means 87 branches have been slated for closure by high street banks so far this year.
A NatWest spokesperson said: “As with many industries, most of our customers are shifting to mobile and online banking because it’s faster and easier for people to manage their financial lives.
“We understand and recognise that digital solutions aren’t right for everyone or every situation, and that when we close branches we have to make sure that no one is left behind.
We take our responsibility seriously to support the people who face challenges in moving online, so we are investing to provide … Read More
TSB’s 5,700 staff and executives are to share a 10% bigger bonus pot this year, after rising interest rates pushed the bank’s annual profits to record highs.
The high street lender confirmed the pool had risen to £29.8m, up from the £27m distributed a year earlier. For most staff, that will mean collecting bonuses worth 11.8% of their pay, compared with 10.2% a year earlier.
However, the chief executive of TSB, Robin Bulloch, will receive a £782,000 bonus, nearly matching the £875,000 he was paid in salary and bringing his total pay to £1.8m for 2022. Bulloch took over as chief executive last April after Debbie Crosbie left for Nationwide.
The once-beleaguered bank, which experienced a large-scale IT meltdown in 2018, reported a 16.5% rise in annual profits to £182.5m for 2022, as rising interest rates meant it was able to charge more for customer loans and mortgages.
The rise in profits and payouts comes despite the Financial Conduct Authority hitting TSB with much-delayed £48m fine in December in relation to the botched IT migration that left millions of banking customers locked out of their accounts for weeks in 2018 and resulted in the resignation of its then chief executive, … Read More
With the increased threat of industrial strike action looming across the UK, we consider whether a force majeure clause can strike the right chord during such action.
As we emerged from the pandemic, many businesses had hoped to move forward and leave the struggles and difficulties of the pandemic behind.
However, industrial strike action has exacerbated staff shortages and has the potential to cause major disruption to supply chains in sectors such as health, logistics, manufacturing, and transport. Therefore, as we approach what looks set to be a winter of strike action, many businesses may be wondering how they will get through the next few months with concerns over whether:
They will have the staff to operate their business.
They will suffer operational delays and supply chain delays or unavailability of materials, and
They can comply with all their contractual obligations; and
Their business-critical trading partners can continue to do the same.
We consider whether strike action could give rise to a force majeure event and what steps businesses should take when relying on force majeure provisions in their contracts.
Step 1: Identify who is striking and what the impact is on your business
This may seem obvious but considering … Read More
The highest taxpayers in the UK include a scrap metal dealer, JK Rowling, the founder of Gymshark, Sting and the Duke of Westminster.
When taken together the 100 wealthy individuals or families revealed in this year’s Sunday Times tax list were liable for a total of £5.181bn of UK tax last year.
The fifth edition of the list has been released as millions of people race to meet the self-assessment deadline and features figures from the worlds of music and the arts, as well as billionaire aristocrats and rags-to-riches entrepreneurs.
The list is headed up by Moscow-born billionaire who is the UK’s top tax payer, paying more than £487m in just 12 months, according to list.
Alex Gerko, boosted the Treasury’s coffers by more than £1.3m a day or £55,639 an hour during 2023.
Gerko, who has dual British Russian nationality and an estimated net worth of £2bn, came to the UK in 2006 and is the founder of algorithmic trading firm XTX Markets.
Earlier this month it was reported that XTX markets had given Oxford University’s Ukrainian Scholarship Scheme a grant of £602,550 from its £15m Academic Sanctuaries Fund, which was established to support students and researchers affected by … Read More