When a rich investor comes to HSBC to ask how to shelter their money in a certain European country, beginning with an ‘S’, ending in a ‘D’, and containing the word ‘wit’, the tax adviser immediately calls the company musician, whose previous role was lead violinist with a famous orchestra. She takes the Stradivarius out of the velvet-lined safe and proceeds to the tax adviser’s office with its marble-lined walls, teak furniture, and paintings by 17th-Century artists. Standing under the Lalique chandelier, she sits on a Chippendale chair and plays excerpts from well-known violin concertos as the investor and adviser discuss the best strategy over canapes, cigars, and champagne. Once the sheltering has been agreed the investor makes a tax-free contribution to a music school of their choice. When the investor leaves, the Stradivarius is returned to the safe.
You only get the highest class of fiddling at HSBC.
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