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Legal Pressure From IRS Forces Leadenhall To Cancel MasterCards

by Amanda Banks, for LawAndTax-News.com, London

31 July 2003


President of Bahamas-based Leadenhall Bank and Trust, William Jennings announced on Monday that as a result of legal pressure from the US Internal Revenue Service on providers of offshore credit cards, all MasterCards issued by the bank have been cancelled.

Speaking to the Nassau Guardian, Mr Jennings confirmed that the institution had lost its licence to provide offshore credit cards, and announced that:

'Leadenhall apologises in advance to all its valid customers for the short notice regarding this development and the inconvenience that is bound to arise as a result of MasterCard's decision. Unfortunately, this decision is the result of circumstances beyond Leadenhall's control.'

The IRS has been targeting US citizens using such credit cards for several years now, arguing that: 'The average person doesn't need an offshore credit card, but many people are getting them to help evade taxes.'

Speaking with regard to the now-defunct offshore credit card service offered by Leadenhall, an unnamed financial analyst told the Nassau Guardian that:

'This is a very sophisticated operation that is IT-oriented and good for the Bahamas, but you don't go around rubbing it in Uncle Sam's eye. They should have been more discreet.'


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