Britannia face £20m bill after tax swoop

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Britain's second biggest building society, Britannia, could be hit with a 20m tax bill following a raid by Revenue & Customs, according to press reports.

The swoop on the society's headquarters in Leek, Staffordshire, took all 1,900 employees by surprise, including chief executive Neville Richardson, said reports in the Financial Mail. The raid was focused on the society's treasury operation, which raises billions of pounds from wholesale money markets. Files were removed from the offices and three employees were arrested, but released without charge.

It is believed the Revenue's probe is focused on a series of multimillion pound foreign currency transactions that the society conducted in 2002. Many such deals, arranged by Britannia on advice from the top accountancy firm Pricewaterhouse-Coo...

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