• Register
Return to: Home > News > Tax > EU Greens’s report on Tax evasion targets middle-men

EU Greens’s report on Tax evasion targets middle-men

The role of intermediaries in tax evasion has been revealed by the European Parliament group Greens/EFA who scanned through the data of the panama papers, the offshore leaks and the Bahamas papers.

The report took information from a database of banks, accountants and lawyers, the majority (90%) with a base in the EU, to find out more about their possible offshore businesses.

The database was created by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Greens used the public data from the ICIJ on three scandals (Panama Papers, the Bahamas Leaks and Offshore Leaks) and are calling for a regulatory ‘crackdown’.

Greens/EFA economic and finance spokesperson, Sven Giegold, said: “This study shows that tax evasion and money laundering transactions are made possible by banks, law firms and auditors operating, and often based in the EU. Swiss and Luxembourg firms, as well as French and British institutions, have earned a tidy sum from this kind of business.”

Molly Scott Cato, Green tax spokesperson, added: “This new report shows that helping wealthy elites and corporations dodge tax is a thriving business in the UK. And we totally reject the so-called “new economic model” that Theresa May and her Chancellor have chosen to threaten the EU with.”

There were 140 international intermediaries listed, and among the “middle-men” are accounting giants such as the Big Four as well as large banks such as UBS, Credit Suisse or Citibank, and also law firms. The report stated: “We also found several banks from Luxembourg but also the three major French banks: Société Générale, Crédit Agricole and BNP Paribas.” Yet many other names in the list remain unknown to the wider public.

A UBS spokesperson said: “UBS conducts its business in full compliance with applicable law and regulations. We have no interest in funds that are not taxed or derive from unlawful activities.”

Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States are the top 3 countries hosting them, and Asia has the highest number of intermediaries, with Europe second.

Giegold continued: “The governments of member states must initiate an investigation into those firms complicit in tax evasion and money laundering. We are calling for comprehensive and independent monitoring of intermediaries, applying equally to banks, lawyers, and consultants.”

The study and its key results can be found here:

Top Content

    Blockchain and the Big Four: does it deserve all the hype?

    Although still in its infancy, blockchain is one of the most talked-about technologies of 2018. Will the blockchain bubble burst, or will it live up to its reputation as the ‘new internet’? Eleanor Jerome investigates

    read more

    Malaysia: Ready to show its strength

    Recent changes have enhanced the quality of audit reports in Malaysia, giving the profession a welcome opportunity to demonstrate its value to clients. Paul Golden reports

    read more

    China: Regulating the Chinese dragon

    Harsh regulatory actions and looming US trade wars have been dampening expectations in a Chinese market still full of potential, finds Jonathan Minter

    read more

    Indigenous Australians: New checks and balances

    With fewer than 40 known qualified Indigenous Australian accountants, Jonathan Minter speaks to Shelley Cable from PwC Australia about how increasing this number is an important part of improving the financial literacy of Indigenous communities

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.