Scottish property worth billions owned by tax haven firms (The Ferret, 21 June 2020)

  • Revealed: Scottish property worth billions owned by tax haven firms

  • By Joe Lo. Published in The Ferret on 21 June 2010

  • Summary:

    • Foreign companies own £4.4 billion worth of Scottish property, The Ferret can reveal, leading to calls for greater transparency to stop Scotland losing out on tax revenue.

    • Concerns have also been raised about the need for urgent action to stop criminals using opaque foreign companies to invest in Scottish property as a front for money laundering.

    • Registers of Scotland data obtained by The Ferret shows that on the last day of 2019, 3,237 Scottish properties were owned or leased by companies based outside of the UK.

    • The companies buying these properties paid a total of £4.42bn for them. They are likely to be worth even more than that today.

    • Further Ferret analysis shows that about 60 per cent of foreign owned property was bought by companies based in tax havens, allowing them to avoid paying tax. These 1,851 companies paid £2.76 billion for the properties.

    • Jersey, the Isle of Man, the British Virgin Islands, Guernsey and Luxembourg are the places whose companies own the most Scottish property.

  • Keywords: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, tax havens, tax justice, corporate landlords, money laundering, home ownership

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