Royal Bank of Scotland has been drawn into a criminal tax fraud investigation as five current and former employees of its investment banking arm have been arrested as part of a wider probe thought to involve at least two other City institutions. Four current and one former staff member of RBS’s global banking and markets division were arrested at their homes on Wednesday in a series of raids, as HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigated allegations that City financiers have been using film finance schemes to evade taxes.
The London office of the taxpayer-backed lender’s investment banking unit also was searched in connection with the investigation, which is understood to involve at least two other City banks.
HMRC confirmed the arrests: “As a result of an ongoing HMRC investigation into tax-related criminal offences, HMRC has arrested a number of people, some of whom work for UK banks. This investigation relates to the actions of the people arrested in relation to their own financial affairs and is not connected to the business activities of the banks.”