A report by the European Tax Monitor showed that European banks have not reduced their presence in tax havens in recent years, despite scandals that exposed the questionable practices of multinational companies to evade taxes, Al-Rai reported.

Major European banks account for 20 billion euros each year, or 14 percent of their total profits, in 17 regions with an encouraging tax system, according to the European Tax Observatory hosted by the Paris School of Economics, and this ratio has remained stable since 2014.

The Observatory, funded by the European Commission and headed by French economist Gabriel Zucman, stated that despite the increasing importance of these issues in public debate and the world of politics, European banks have not reduced their presence in tax havens.

The observatory reviewed data published by 36 financial institutions during the period from 2014 to 2020, where the data identifies 17 countries and territories as preferred destinations for European banks, namely- Kuwait, Qatar, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Ireland, Mauritius, Bermuda, Isle of Man, Cayman Islands, Jersey, Guernsey, and Mount Tariq, Hong Kong, Macau, Panama, Malta, and Luxembourg are members of the European Union.

Monitor experts said that profits recorded in tax havens are unusually high, with 238,000 euros per employee, compared to 65,000 in other countries, which indicates that profits recorded in tax havens are mainly transferred from other countries where services are produced.

Among the major banks, HSBC is the most prominent in terms of these practices, as it recorded more than 62 percent of its pre-tax profits in tax havens between 2018 and 2020, compared to 49.8 percent for Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which came second. Standard Chartered (29.8 percent) ranked third, followed by Germany’s Deutsche Bank and Nord LP in the fourth and fifth places.

As for French institutions, Société Générale was the most prominent, with a profit rate recorded in tax havens of 13.8 percent, ahead of Credit Agricole (11.5 percent) and BNP Paribas (6.9 percent), but These three groups have reduced their activities in these countries compared to the period 2014-2016, according to the Observatory.

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