If you were a government that liked to write laws quickly (also: badly), and you didn’t want to make the effort to write proper laws in the future, what would you do if people kept making money by using the fookin’ mahoosive loopholes in your laws?
Simple: you’d try and make people sign binding pledges to obey the spirit of the law, rather than the actual law.
Hence Gordon Brown & co came up with the governments code of taxing conduct for banks, which banks were supposed to sign up to to prevent tax avoidance. You know, tax avoidance. The entirely legal way to arrange your financial matters to minimise your losses to the tax man. It may be legal, but G Brown didn’t like it being legal, and didn’t have the brains to make it illegal, so he went down this route.
However, it seems that banks without a government representative on their boards want nothing to do with it. And I make them right on that.
However, the new government disagrees, and seems to way to coerce said non-compliant banks into agreeing to it. Lets hope that he doesn’t succeed.