The finanical services industry in London have facilitated a system that makes Britain the most corrupt country in the world, says an anti-mafia journalist.
Roberto Saviano, who has been living under police protection for over 10 years for exposing Italy’s most powerful organized crime syndicate, made the remarks during a rare appearance at the Hay Literary Festival. He was escorted by several security guards.
The 36-year-old said banks in London allow offshore criminals to pump their money into the country’s economy.
“If I asked what is the most corrupt place on earth, you might say it’s Afghanistan, maybe Greece, Nigeria, the south of Italy. I would say it is the UK,” he said.
The author of international bestselling books Gomorra and ZeroZeroZero noted that “It’s not UK bureaucracy, police, or politics, but what is corrupt is the financial capital. Ninety per cent of the owners of capital in London have their headquarters offshore.”
“90 per cent of the owners of capital in London have their headquarters offshore,” he noted.
Saviano also said that tax havens in UK dependencies like Jersey and the Cayman islands “are the access gates to criminal capital in Europe and the UK is the country that allows it.”
He warned that leaving the European Union would expose the UK to more organized crimes.
The Italian journalist said HSBC bank was an example of a British institution that handled “criminal capital” in the country.
In 2012, HSBC paid about £1.2 fine to settle money laundering allegations in the United States.