A UK prime minister candidate is defending her use of an offshore bank, insisting that she was not using the institution in an attempt to avoid taxes.
Andrea Leadsom, one of two candidates to replace David Cameron as leader of the Conservatives, confirmed to the BBC that she had taken out a mortgage with the Jersey branch of investment bank Kleinwort Benson, according to an International Advisor report.
“I had a mortgage, for which I shopped around for the cheapest deal,” Leadsom said. “At the time it was being offered by a UK bank who booked it to Jersey.”
Leadsom insisted she hadn’t done it deliberately and denied trying to avoid taxes. She said that the bank first booked the mortgage in Jersey, then booked it in London, the International Advisor reported.
Leadsom has also faced questions about her previous career in financial services, the Advisor reported. Former colleagues allege that she exaggerated her job history and experience. Leadsom has vehemently denied the allegations.
“I have not changed my CV. I have had 25 years in finance,” she told the BBC. “I spent the best part of 10 years in BZW and Barclays and the best part of 10 years in Invesco Perpetual. I started life as a trainee broker on the London Metals Exchange working for a big American brokerage firm.
“My CV is incredibly varied and it’s all absolutely true,” she said. “…I have been very clear – I am not a funds manager. I was, in BZW and Barclays, managing huge teams of people and large budgets.”
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