Shady offshore ventures were veiled in bland corporate spin.
“If a man is sufficiently unimaginative to produce evidence in support of a lie, he might just as well speak the truth at once”. – Oscar Wilde
So why then did Investec bother (finally) to issue a haughty statement early in June, trashing the notion that it is active in offshore tax havens? Investec had, once upon a time, the statement suggested, briefly entered the offshore banking world by accident (in 1998 it bought a UK bank which made it something of a speciality), but – as soon as possible (in 2013) – had got shot of all that shady stuff. You have to do some arithmetic to work out that this “briefly” lasted 15 years – and that’s on the unlikely assumption that Investec hadn’t been doing its own offshore business before that.
Come to think of it, why would Investec have bought a bank called Guinness Flight Trust Services if it didn’t want to get into the offshore “Trust” business.
A great deal has happened since the year 2000.