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Paradise Papers: The Queen's estate invested taxpayer money in offshore accounts in a Caribbean tax haven


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The Paradise papers reveal that the Queen's private estate invested millions of pounds in offshore funds in Caribbean tax havens.

The documents were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and are now being investigated by nearly one hundred media groups.

The Duchy of Lancaster, which manages the Queen’s £520 million private estate, held funds in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

It has also been revealed that the monarch holds small investments in several businesses including drinks company Threshers and rent-to-buy firm BrightHouse, a company that sells household products to people via weekly instalments. 

Last month, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said Brighthouse had not acted as a 'responsible lender' and told the company to pay £14.8 million in redress to 249,000 customers.

Meanwhile Threshers went bust in 2009 owing £17.5 million in UK tax.

A spokesman for the Duchy of Lancaster told The Independent: "We operate a number of investments and a few of these are with overseas funds. All of our investments are fully audited and legitimate."

There is no suggestion that any of these funds or investments were illegal but they have never been previously disclosed in palace accounts. 

In 2016, the BBC accused Brighthouse of exploiting customers by 'selling products to vulnerable people with mental health problems and learning disabilities.' 



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