Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Avaaz HSBC bank helping rich dodge taxes

HSBC bank has just been caught red-handed helping some of the world's mega-rich dodge taxes! We'd go to prison for this, but governments are treating these powerful people like they're too big to jail. Let's show them they're not.

Our governments are losing $3 trillion a year to tax dodging -- enough to end extreme world poverty many times over! This leak is the biggest in banking history -- if we don't seize it now to get prosecutions, we may never get a chance like this again.

UK finance minister Osborne faces an imminent election, while US Attorney General Lynch is yet to be confirmed in her new job. They're both very sensitive to the public right now, so our million-strong call, delivered via ads and with legislators, could get them to investigate, prosecute, and send the tax-dodging elite a powerful signal: no one is too big to jail!

The UK is HSBC's home country, and the UK and US have jurisdiction over thousands of the tax-dodgers. If we get them to prosecute first, it could trigger a worldwide wave of accountability.

The mega-rich often cause damaging financial crises with wild speculation, get bailed out by taxpayers, then argue that public spending on schools and hospitals should be slashed to meet the resulting deficits -- all while many of them fail to pay their legal share of taxes! This austerity-spiral is driving a rapid worldwide increase in inequality.
Just 85 billionaires have as much wealth as the poorest half of our planet -- wealth they too often use to buy politicians and capture our democracies to keep the whole system going in their favour.
It's time to stop this damaging downward spiral, and making the richest pay their taxes would be a massive step. Let's make it happen:

Avaaz is all about the many gathering the power to stand up to the few. Law is a contract that links us all together, equally. Thousands of the world's most powerful think they're above it. For the sake of our democracies and our societies, let's show them they're not.

With hope and determination,

Alex, Bert, Laila, Ricken, Marie, Andrew, Nell and the whole Avaaz team


HSBC could yet be prosecuted over tax-dodging scheme, warns Loretta Lynch (The Guardian)

HSBC bank ‘helped clients dodge millions in tax’ (BBC)
Banking Giant HSBC Sheltered Murky Cash Linked to Dictators and Arms Dealers (ICIJ)
HSBC files show how Swiss bank helped clients dodge taxes and hide millions (The Guardian)
Tax-havens: Super-rich ‘hiding’ at least $21tn (BBC)

Illicit Financial Flows from Africa: track it, stop it, get it (Africa Renewal)