RBS to pay out £125m over computer glitch
Seven ex-RBS bankers are facing allegations they avoided £2.5 million in taxReuters

A trio of senior former RBS bankers have appeared in court charged with defrauding HMRC by submitting false tax returns.

The three bankers who worked at the state-owned bank until 2012, along with 10 other alleged fraudsters, appeared at London Magistrates' Court accused of setting up two firms to allow them to submit the false returns. The firms were proported to be involved with film development.

Another three of the accused had senior roles at Jeffries Group, an international bank based in New York.

The plot allegedly involved two partnership firms, Edinburgh and Walsh LLP and Jenkins and Hyde and Maclellan LLP.

Under corporate law the suspects would have been able to claim tax relief on the companies' losses, saving them millions.

Tuckers Solicitors, whose partner Phil Smith is representing one of seven ex-RBS employees implicated, says tax expert Tessa Lorimer was surprised by the approach taken by HMRC.

While acknowledging HMRC was targeting sophisticated schemes, she pointed out that "the total amount [involved] is relatively small".

Canary Wharf
Seven ex-RBS investment bankers are said to have sidestepped £2.5 million in taxReuters

Prior to the opening of the case, Andrew Penhale, deputy head of fraud at the CPS, said: "Following an investigation by HMRC, the Crown Prosecution Service has authorised charges against three women and 10 men in connection with allegations that they conspired to cheat the revenue out of £2.5m of tax, via a complex film scheme designed for that purpose."

Donald Toon, director of criminal investigation at HMRC, said: "HMRC carried out a thorough investigation and the matter will now be put before the courts. The vast majority of people pay the tax they owe, but for those we suspect may not be, no matter who you are or what your profession, it's only right we investigate."

Charges in full:

Terence Potter, 53, of Cardiff, film producer – three counts of Conspiracy to cheat the Revenue, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 relating to both Edinburgh and Walsh LLP and Jenkins and Hyde and Maclellan LLP.

Neil Williams-Denton, 40, director of Greystone Financial Services - two counts of Conspiracy to cheat the Revenue, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 relating to both Edinburgh and Walsh LLP and Jenkins and Hyde and Maclellan LLP.

Christopher Atkins. 37, of Hampstead, London, film producer - one count of Conspiracy to cheat the Revenue, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 relating to Edinburgh and Walsh LLP.

Kimberley Murphy - three counts of Conspiracy to cheat the Revenue, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 relating to both Edinburgh and Walsh LLP and Jenkins and Hyde and Maclellan LLP.

Christine Slater - one count of Conspiracy to cheat the Revenue, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 relating to Edinburgh and Walsh LLP.

Elspeth Mundy, 45, a financial planning assistant at Greystone Financial Services - two counts of Conspiracy to cheat the Revenue, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 relating to both Edinburgh and Walsh LLP and Jenkins and Hyde and Maclellan LLP.

Vincent Walsh, 52, a former director at RBS's UK Equity Business - one count of Conspiracy to cheat the Revenue, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 relating to Edinburgh and Walsh LLP.

Jason Edinburgh, 46, a former senior trader at RBS - one count of Conspiracy to cheat the Revenue, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 relating to Edinburgh and Walsh LLP.

Assad Amin, 43, former RBS global head of equity execution - one count of Conspiracy to cheat the Revenue, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 relating to Edinburgh and Walsh LLP.

Michael Elsom - one count of Conspiracy to cheat the Revenue, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 relating to Edinburgh and Walsh LLP.

James Hyde, 31, former trader at Jefferies Group - one count of Conspiracy to cheat the Revenue, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 relating to Hyde and Maclellan LLP.

Phillip Jenkins, 48, former trader at Jeffries Group - one count of Conspiracy to cheat the Revenue, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 relating to Jenkins and Hyde and Maclellan LLP.

Hamish Maclellan, former head of international equity sales at Jeffries Group - one count of Conspiracy to cheat the Revenue, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 relating to Jenkins and Hyde and Maclellan LLP.