NatWest and BZW win BES dispute

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The Independent Online
NATIONAL Westminster Bank and Barclays de Zoete Wedd yesterday won a legal battle with the Inland Revenue that will allow about 3,200 investors to receive a generous tax relief on the Business Expansion Scheme investments they made just before the last Budget, writes Paul Durman.

The Budget put an immediate end to the loanback schemes that BES sponsors used to offer higher-rate taxpayers annualised returns of almost 30 per cent after only six months.

The High Court ruled that investors in the NatWest and BZW schemes should qualify for tax relief since shares had been alloted by midnight on the day before the Budget. The Inland Revenue had argued the schemes should not qualify since shares had not been issued to investors. It has 28 days to appeal.

Separately, it emerged yesterday that the Investment Management Regulatory Organisation recently fined NatWest pounds 10,000 and pounds 3,208 of costs because an advertisement for its Homeshare BES failed to include the necessary risk warning.