By Claire West

According to the BBC, documents suggesting Britain's biggest bank, HSBC, helped cheat the Treasury out of millions of pounds of tax have been obtained.

BBC Panorama reported that it had seen thousands of documents from the company’s private Swiss bank which showed that some clients were able to hide money from HM Revenue and Customs.

Professor Crawford Spence says that: "The HSBC case is quite different from other recent tax scandals. HSBC has been complicit in clear tax evasion and law breaking rather than legitimate tax avoidance."

"The latest details to emerge from the Public Accounts Committee are also particularly damning for the UK tax authorities, HMRC. It appears that we need to rely on computer hackers, investigative journalists and corporate whistleblowers to expose tax evasion. HMRC should be doing this as a matter of course, but must be lacking either in resources, political will or both."