Aggressive tax planning in private international companies is not necessarily illegal, but it is unethical and deeply problematic, as it means the loss of large revenues that should have benefited the community.
Transparency International EU has just released a report showing how some of the largest banks in the EU and Storbritannia seeks to avoid high taxes in their respective home countries by shifting registration to low or zero tax jurisdictions – tax havens.
The most important findings in the report are that 31 of 39 banks use such jurisdictions, and 29 of these achieve high profits in countries where they have no employees. UniCredit, HSBC and Société Genérále top the list for this way of organizing their business, with Cayman Island and Malta being the two most used jurisdictions.
The profits of Spanish banks abroad are 18 times higher than in
There are large differences between the revenues at the banks' head offices and their foreign operations. For example, the profits of Spanish banks abroad are 18 times higher than at home. Such covert operations may indicate that banks are speculating in registering parts of their business abroad in order to avoid paying taxes. The report makes reservations about the conclusions that can be drawn due to a lack of transparency about the banks' operations in these countries. There may be legitimate reasons to organize the business in this way.
Transparency is perhaps the most important tool for preventing and uncovering finances. . .
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