Despite many scandals about taxation of multinational corporations, European banks have not reduced their presence in tax havens in recent yearsAccording to a study published Monday.
Each year the main European banks register 20,000 million euros ($23,700 million) – 14% of their total profits – in 17 particularly favorable tax authorities, according to the calculations of the European Tax Observatory, an independent research center based at the Paris School of Economics.
This percentage has held steady since 2014, despite several scandals that exposed shady tax evasion practices by multinational corporations.
“Despite the increasing importance of these issues in public debate and in the world of politics, European banks have not significantly reduced their use of tax havens,” says the body funded by the European Commission and led by French economist Gabriel Zucman.
The observatory reviewed the data published by 36 financial institutions during the period 2014-2020 She identified 17 states and territories as preferred destinations, including the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Jersey, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Macau, Panama and Luxembourg.
Among the major banks, they regard HSBC as the champion of these practices. More than 62% of its pre-tax earnings were accounted for in tax havens between 2018 and 2020, compared to 49.8% for Italy’s Monte dei Paschi (BMPS), which ranked second.
Standard Chartered (29.8%) completed the podium, with Germany’s Deutsche Bank and Nord LP taking fourth and fifth positions.
In 2014, the LuxLeaks scandal, followed by the Panama Papers, highlighted tax evasion. Since then, a minimum tax on profits for multinational corporations has been negotiated in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).