Thinking Anglicans

Statement on the work of Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint

The Church of England issued this statement today.

Statement on the work of Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint
13 February 2015

The Church of England have today issued the following statement:

“The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are grateful to Lord Green for the contribution and expertise that he has brought to the work of the group on leadership training and formation. The leadership report stands on its own merits: it is about preparation and consideration for appointment to posts of wide responsibility, pastoral care of those being considered and a means of ensuing proper inclusion across the whole range of the church. The report was completed and submitted before the current media focus on historic allegations against HSBC at the time Lord Green was either CEO or Chairman.

In the recent coverage concerning Lord Green none of the reports suggest there is evidence that he personally encouraged or orchestrated any scheme of tax evasion. The Church of England’s opposition to tax evasion or aggressive tax management strategies remains firm. The reported actions of HSBC Switzerland were wrong and there is obviously deep concern about the issues revealed.

Lord Green’s involvement in the production of the report on leadership development has been valuable and the Archbishops thank him for his contribution to this important ongoing work for the Church of England.”

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Chris MartinFr WilliamPeter GriffithsFather DavidDavid Gibson Recent comment authors
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Richard
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Richard

“The Church of England’s opposition to tax evasion or aggressive tax management strategies remains firm.”

Does anyone know how the Church is defining “aggressive” tax management strategies? I’m sure we can all think of examples that are clearly acceptable, or unacceptable, but where does the Church’s opposition begin and end?

Tax evasion (being illegal) should clearly be opposed, but tax avoidance is not illegal, even in its “aggressive” forms. In opposing legal activities we really ought to be able to define clearly what the Church thinks is acceptable and what isn’t.

Iain McLean
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Iain McLean

This says precisely nothing. It is established (Guardian passim, all this week) that SG was in charge of HSBC’s private banking division for part of the material time, and group chair for another part; also that he wrote in his inspirational writings on the Christian in business that the buck stops with the board, which must take responsibility for everything that goes on. On both counts I am afraid he is fatally tainted.

Peter Griffiths
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Peter Griffiths

As an ordained priest should he not stand aside until matters are clearer. No doubt he had no direct involvement but the point is that as CEO he has to take responsibility for what is alleged to have happened. This is what management is about – taking responsibility. Sound managers make it their business to find out what actually happens – that is why they are paid huge sums. Surely if failures of a serious nature happened on his watch, what on earth is the Church doing relying on his report which itself may be seriously flawed. You are both… Read more »

Tom Marshall
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Tom Marshall

If allegations of financial impropriety were made against another priest, there would be a high likelihood of suspension under the CDM until the matter had been investigated and resolved. As it stands, the archbishops are saying tax evasion is a wicked thing; but the man overseeing HSBC while it encouraged this practice is a good thing because has been useful in producing a report that is, at best, questionable in its thesis and method. And we wonder why no-one is taking us seriously any more. No wonder we’re on target to be decimated by 2057.

John
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John

Laughter seems an appropriate response.

Simon Sarmiento
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The Financial Times has carried two stories about this, the latest published this evening, which can be found here http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2b0f78b8-b387-11e4-a45f-00144feab7de.html#axzz3Rf3Q4eCk and then here http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/821c63e6-b3a5-11e4-a6c1-00144feab7de.html#axzz3Rf3Q4eCk registration is required. But both of these reports contain a claim which differs from what is in the press release, viz. The statement added the report stood “on its own merits” and had been completed “before anyone knew of the historic allegations against HSBC at the time Lord Green was either CEO or executive chair”. “The report was completed and submitted before anyone knew of the historic allegations against HSBC at the time Lord Green was… Read more »

Stevie Gamble
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Stevie Gamble

I appreciate that the Church feels that trifling details re anything short of “aggressive tax management strategies” need not concern it, or us, but perhaps it could explain why it regards money laundering the profits of Mexican drug cartels as not even worthy of comment, much less condemnation. The Financial Times article of 9th February has a helpful timeline of HSBC’s activities: ft.com/cms/s/0/28c5744a-b03f-11e4-92b6-00144feab7de.html#axzz3RfRako ‘In June 2003 Stephen Green, formerly responsible for private banking, takes over as HSBC group chief executive. May 2006 Mr Green becomes HSBC chairman. July 2007 HSBC’s senior manager of group compliance warns that the anti-money laundering… Read more »

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

The Church may be studiously averting its gaze but according to the FT business isn’t and its leaders are wary of appearing on the same platform as Lord Green.

Jeremy Pemberton
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Jeremy Pemberton

Iain McClean is right. This is flim-flam designed to shut people up. The trouble with the Green report and the way it has been handled is, to my mind, cultural as much as anything else. The report is done and produced without anyone being informed. The money to implement it is secured in such a way that Synod does not need , and is not permitted to discuss it and vote on it. It is unashamedly elitist. Now Lerd Green is going to be defended to the hilt. The point is that the report he produced will not stand on… Read more »

ExRevd
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ExRevd

So we’re not to bring a case under the Clergy Discipline Measure then?

John
Guest
John

Sincere thanks both to Simon and Stevie Gamble. How appropriate that our archbishops should be advocates of the leadership principles of the Reverend Stephen Green (C of E).

Neil
Guest
Neil

I’m interested that Prebendary the Lord Green’s business colleagues are alleged to be wary of appearing on the same platform as him. I wonder about his Prebendal colleagues at St Paul’s Cathedral? It would also be interesting to be reminded who appointed him to this honorary position and for what reason?

David Gibson
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David Gibson

The Reverend Prebendary Lord Green was appointed to his stall in St Paul’s by Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London. Always one to cosy-up to the evangelicals, the appointment was made, interestingly, during a decanal interregnum. Don’t imagine for one minute that his Lordship is in any way exercised by the allegations about the other Lordship’s activities at HSBC. He famously “never reads the papers” and will carry on regardless until the whole thing dies down. “Ignorance is bliss, beloved”!

Father David
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Father David

I hesitate to think it and am reluctant to speak it but that much abused word “taint” comes to mind when I read this statement.

Peter Griffiths
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Peter Griffiths

In the end it boils down to HSBC being too big to fail no matter what has transpired so far let alone what may be revealed in the course of time; likewise Stephen Green is too big to be allowed to fail in the eyes of the archbishops. This is the establishment hard at work.

Chris Martin
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Chris Martin

Take my life Take my wealth, Lord, let it be Tax efficient Lord for me; Take my praise, Lord, hear my thanks For good advice from crooked banks Take my dollars and my yen, – Taxes are other men; Of cash I have a huge amount Hidden in a black account. Take my pesos, Swiss francs too, The bankers showed me what to do; That Lord Green has said I can Hide it from the revenue man. Take my possessions, Lord, I beg; Racehorse and land, Fabergé egg, The wife, my I-phone, and my fax Are set against my UK… Read more »

Fr William
Guest

Please Chris Martin can I use your hymn, with due acknowledgment?

Chris Martin
Guest
Chris Martin

For Father William: Yes, certainly. With pleasure.