Friday, June 17, 2011

Spanish Banker's Taxing Inheritance

When a former IT specialist at HSBC revealed a list of undeclared Swiss bank accounts, he shook a lot of money trees. Among those now under investigation for tax evasion, the NY Times reports, is Spain's most prominent banker, Emilio Botin of Banco Santander.

Botin and his family apparently inherited their tax problems from accounts that date back to the days of For Whom the Bell Tolls.
Mr. Botín’s father, Emilio, opened an account in Switzerland after the start of the Spanish Civil War when he left Spain for London. The elder Mr. Botín died in 1993 … his son and other heirs were told only last year by the Spanish authorities of the money kept in Switzerland.
"Switzerland is a small, steep country," Hemingway once wrote, "much more up and down than sideways, and is all stuck over with large brown hotels…." Far as I know, he didn't mention the banks.

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