David Potter (Psion)
Dr David Potter is the Chairman of Psion plc and a Director of Symbian and Finsbury Investments Ltd. He gave £90,000 to the Labour Party in 2001 and was one of a group of 58 business leaders who wrote to the Times in May 2001 in support of the Labour Party's election campaign. His personal wealth is estimated at £245 million. He was a member of the London Council of the CBI from 1992-99 and is a member of the board of the Higher Education Funding Council (Source). He is a member of Lord Sainsbury's Council for Science and Technology.
He was a member of the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education in 1996/97 (The Dearing Committee) and continued his involvement in higher education policy as a Board Member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England. He has served as a member of The Council for Science and Technology. He is a Visiting Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, an Honorary Fellow of Imperial College and an Honorary Fellow and Governor of The London Business School. In 1993 he received the Mountbatten Medal from the Institute of Electrical Engineers and has received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from a number of universities including Warwick, Sheffield, Edinburgh and York. He has written and lectured widely on technology and the new economy, including the Stockton Lecture at LBS in 1998, one of the Millenium Lectures at 10 Downing Street in 1999, and the Tacitus Lecture, 2000 at the Guildhall. In June 2003, David was appointed a non-Executive Director to the Bank of England.Source
In an article in 2002 on the subject of how 'Rich people are costing Britain millions in lost tax by not registering their houses in their own names', the Guardian reports that Potter's home 'Rush Manor', was not registered as being owned by him but by the Ropanom Nominee Corporation ('care of a London address which proved to be that of his Psion company lawyers'). The article claims that through the exploitation of legal loopholes 'wealthy individuals... appear to be enjoying the country's choicest property virtually tax-free'. The article also mentions Margaret Thatcher, Mohamed Al Fayed, Isaac Kaye, Tony Tabatznik, Lakshmi Mittal, Uri David,Rupert Allason, Wafic Said, Prince Bandar and Christopher Ondaatje as others who are not the registered owners of their homes and who may benefit from such a loophole.
When asked by the Guardian why he was not registered as the owner of his home, Potter is reported to have replied simply that it was 'complicated'. Potter is reported to also take advantage of 'a second controversial tax loophole', through claiming to be 'non-domiciled'. Potter was born in South Africa but has lived in Britain for more than 30 years.
The Guardian claims in 2002 that Potter's home is worth around £2million and his fortune is estimated at £98million. They continue by claiming that tax liabilities which he has avoided include capital gains tax, inheritance tax and stamp duty up to an amount of £840,000.
- Evans, R & Hencke, D. (2002) 'Tax loopholes on homes benefit the rich and cost UK millions'. The Guardian 25th May 2002. Accessed 22nd May 2008
- The Guardian 'Special Investigation: Tax loopholes on homes benefit the rich and cost UK millions: Choice homes, virtually tax free'. 25th May 2002