What are the biggest French banks doing in tax havens?

The report “What are the biggest French banks doing in tax havens?” / “Que font les plus grandes banques françaises dans les paradis fiscaux?” is now available also in English. The report is the output of the French platform on tax havens Plateforme Paradis Fiscaux et Judiciaires, which includes Eurodad members: CCFD-Terre Solidaire and Oxfam France. The report sheds light on the first country-by-country figures that have been published by French banks last year.

In short, the report finds that: 

  • One third of the foreign subsidiairies of the five largest French banks are located in tax havens;
  • 26% of French banks international turnover are located in tax havens;
  • Subsidiaries in tax havens are mainly specialised in investment solutions, structured finance and asset management. Their retail activities are a lot less important than in other countries (two times less than in other countries for BNP-Paribas, 3 times less for Credit Agricole);
  • Employees of banks located in tax havens are two times more profitable than employees located in other countries (more than 3 times for Societe Generale and 13 times for the BPCE Irish employee);
  • Luxembourg is the favourite tax haven of French banks: 117 of their subsidiairies are located in Luxemburg (followed by Belgium, Hong Kong and Switzerland);
  • The Cayman Islands are the black hole of banking business, with a very disparate turnover (sometimes negative), fifteen subsidiaries for the major French banks and no employees; and
  • Tax havens are more attractive than emerging countries: the turnover of French banks in emerging countries is 5 times less important in the BRICS than in tax havens.

English version available here