Societe Generale says it obeys all rules fighting tax evasion and fraud

April 7
7:05 AM 2016

Societe Generale, a financial service firm in France, said that it stood by all the rules of its operating nations. The bank confirmed that it no longer detained any establishments in the process in the Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories (NCCTs). Societe Generale noted that it was conducting an active policy against tax fraud as well as tax avoidance.

With regard to the information that the bank declined to provide details regarding its clients to the authorities, Societe Generale denied this statement. The bank said that it was not petitioned and that it always answered to demands from its authorities. The French bank embraced a Tax Code of Conduct in 2010, framing a clear charter for relations with customers in connection with the tax fraud fight.

The bank said it refuse to take part in tasks that would be conflicting to these principles. The financial service provider has decided to organise private banking events in jurisdictions, which have embraced the rule for the spontaneous interchange of information created by the OECD.

According to Reuters, Societe Generale is named among other financial forms in a document that purportedly portray the use of Mossack Fonseca's service in Panama, requesting offshore firms for clients. The documents appeared in an investigation released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Meanwhile, Michel Spain, finance minister of France, has summoned the bank's executive team for an unscheduled summit after the media reports regarding Societe's previous dealings with Mossack Fonseca. Christian Eckert, the budget minister, said that the government is examining the report and exploring possible options to control such incidents in the future.

Bloomberg quoted a report from ICIJ, which stated that the bank accounted for nearly 979 offshore firms fixed by the law firm over the recent decades. HSBC Holdings fixed over 2,300 of offshore firms while UBS Group and Credit Suisse Group each account for roughly 1,100 of entities through the law firm.

Societe Generale said that it offers services to holding firms for its customers in a transparent method and respect all rules fighting against tax evasion and other related fraud. The bank noted that the number of active charters framed through the law firm for customers totals a few dozen.

The bank is also preparing to reduce 128 workforces in its investor solutions and global banking business in an effort to trim expenses. The business unit that includes the bank's asset controlling, prime brokerage and wealth supervising businesses accounts for 38% of EUR 850 million in expense reduction, which the bank expects to accomplish next year. The bank is determined to approach the Panama investigation positively and is hopeful regarding the prosperity of its financial condition.

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