West Bromwich Building Society is focused on supporting people to buy their own homes and save for the future.
The operation of this traditional building society model is considered low risk and our low risk appetite is reflected in our approach to tax affairs.
This tax strategy applies to West Bromwich Building Society and its subsidiaries (the Group) and has been reviewed by the Audit Committee and Board.
Our commitment is to comply fully with tax law, paying the correct amount of tax, on time, with proper disclosure made to the tax authorities.
The Group complies with HMRC’s Code of Practice on Taxation for Banks and the Senior Accounting Officer (SAO) regime.
The Group Finance & Operations Director is responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure that the Group establishes and maintains appropriate tax accounting arrangements, with oversight provided by the Audit Committee and the Board.
A formally approved internal tax policy, visible to all employees, expands on this strategy statement and details tax planning, risk management and governance processes.
Tax planning and risk management
We will not enter into tax planning which breaks the spirit or letter of the law. We recognise the importance of paying our fair share of tax and the benefits this brings. Tax risks are identified, assessed, managed, monitored and reported in accordance with the Society’s Risk Management Framework. Management is responsible for these activities, with support and challenge provided by specialist risk functions and oversight delivered by a number of management and executive committees.
Use is made of external tax experts to support appropriate tax compliance, advise on legislative changes and provide ‘best practice’ guidance.
Director and employee remuneration is structured so as to ensure that the appropriate amounts of tax and national insurance are paid.
In accordance with the rules set by HMRC, we offer our members the opportunity to earn tax-free interest via the provision of Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs). We do not promote any form of tax avoidance to our customers.
Relationship with HMRC
The Society and its tax advisors maintain an open, honest and transparent relationship with HMRC engaging with the tax authority, where applicable, to mitigate any uncertainty arising in relation to tax planning or compliance matters.
West Bromwich Building Society considers that the publication of this tax strategy statement meets its obligations under paragraph 16(2) of Schedule 19 of the Finance Act 2016.