The Bank of England has been a little more forthcoming about the identity of the 63 companies it has lent more than £17 billion to as part of its Coronavirus Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF). Close to 30% of the money disbursed went to firms that are owned by a tax haven company or a tax exile, or are themselves incorporated in a tax haven, according to the investigative thinktank Taxwatch UK.
The recipients also include American oil giant Schlumberger, which was fined $237 million in 2015 for knowingly violating sanctions against Iran and Sudan, and Chemring, a UK arms company that is under criminal investigation by the Serious Fraud Office for bribery, corruption and money laundering. As confirmed by the SFO website, this is still an ongoing investigation. But Chemring was able to pick up a £50-million loan from the BoE.
In this “new normal” pandemic economy, fraud is exploding at all levels. With central banks and governments creating new money in unprecedented volumes and then releasing it into the economy as fast as they can, with little in the way of checks and balances and, in some cases, virtually no transparency, it’s hardly any surprise. By Nick Corbishley, for WOLF STREET.Unprecedented Stimulus Is Fueling an Explosion of Fraud, Governments Begin to Admit | Wolf Street