Taxman Stamps On Bankers' Charity Donation Wheeze

The Times reports that the UK government is closing a scheme that entitles individuals to reduce their tax payments by claiming relief on charitable donations.

The Treasury said Tuesday: 'It is regrettable that we have become aware of an artificial, aggressive and offensive tax avoidance scheme that seeks to abuse those tax reliefs available for donations to charity'. One banker told Here Is The City: 'The only thing that is 'artificial, aggressive and offensive' is this tax-grabbing government!'.

In the meantime, Bloomberg reports that Bank of New York Mellon CEO Bob Kelly walked away from the chance to lead Bank of America after he became away of factions on the bank's board. He is said to have withdrawn rather than trying to unite the people concerned.

And Reuters reports that Royal Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester continues his possibly fruitless quest to convince UK politicians to stop using the bank as a football. Speaking during an investor meeting Tuesday, Hester said: 'We have to be clear that the process of politicisation of RBS is damaging - damaging to our business and to taxpayers interests'. Hester also pointed out that some $24bn had been wiped off the bank's market cap since the UK Treasury started talking about bonus caps, and the EU started to insist on asset sales as a condition of UK government assistance.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Credit Suisse is to pay around $536m to settle US claims that it has illegally facilitated financial transactions with Iranian enterprises.

And The Financial Times reports that Deutsche Bank has confirmed that it is to become more aggressive in US and Asian equities and commodities trading. Anshu Jain, the head of the bank's global markets business, also said that Deutsche may consider an acquisition to boost its presence in commodities. 

The New York Times reports that UBS has confirmed that it will not sue former executives who were running the bank at the time it sustained huge losses over its exposure to mortgage-backed securities, and became mired in that US client tax evasion investigation.

And The New York Post reports that a US federal grand jury yesterday gave the green light to proceed with the insider trading case against Raj Rajaratnam, the founder of hedge fund Galleon Group.

Finally, Bloomberg reports that US lawmakers are considering repealing the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which prohibited banks from engaging in both commercial banking and securities businesses. Any such move is likely to make exceptions to firms which already have a foot in both camps.

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