The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has ended the provision of tax advice to UK and Channel Islands clients in order to reduce "complexity" in its business.
The decision comes with the admission that tax advisory services are not a strength of major banks and that for this reason RBC will refer such activity to third party specialist tax advisors.
A spokesperson for the bank said: "Effective 30 June, we made the decision to no longer offer tax advice to our clients. As the wealth management landscape evolves, we are responding by reducing complexity in our business."
The bank's website still refers to its offer to provide "comprehensive wealth management services" to identify clients' "investment, retirement, tax and estate planning needs".
The spokesperson explained: "Where tax advice is required, clients will obtain their own independent tax advice from a reputable firm of their choice."
As such, the spokesperson confirmed that RBC does not have any established referral arrangements with professional tax advisers.
The move coincides with a ongoing consultation from HMRC entitled Strengthening Tax Avoidance Sanctions and Deterrents, which is exploring new penalties from "enablers" of tax avoidance.
However, the bank has denied that its decision to end tax advisory services is linked to this move.