Lloyds braced for tax row

LLOYD Banking Group is facing an investigation by HM Revenue &amp; Customs (HMRC) over allegations that it helped wealthy clients avoid tax.<br /><br />Footage obtained by BBC&rsquo;s Panorama shows a banker at the Jersey arm of Lloyds TSB Offshore telling an undercover reporter posing as a customer that he can channel funds through Hong Kong to &ldquo;get around&rdquo; the European Savings Tax Directive.<br /><br />When the customer said he did not want to pay tax, the banker said: &ldquo;It&rsquo;s of no interest to us whether you tell the taxman or not. It is not our business.&rdquo;<br /><br />The Lloyds employee also talked of &ldquo;brainstorming&rdquo; ways to avoid paying tax on the funds.<br /><br />The affair is an embarrassment for Lloyds, led by chief executive Eric Daniels, given the taxpayer&rsquo;s stake in the bank and Gordon Brown&rsquo;s pledge of an &ldquo;end to tax havens&rdquo;.