British bank HSBC and Swiss institutions UBS and Credit Suisse are the top three banks that created the largest number of offshore companies through the Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca, detailed daily Le Monde on Tuesday, after analysis of data “Panama Papers”.
French bank Societe Generale is next. “Overall, it has to his credit 979 companies, behind the British HSBC (2300 companies), Swiss UBS (1,100 companies) and Credit Suisse (1,105 companies),” the French newspaper.
According to the analysis of the World “Panama Papers” – some 11.5 million documents from the firm Mossack Fonseca – 365 banks in the world have used the services of the Panamanian firm.
Thus, of the 214 488 offshore companies registered by Mossack Fonseca, 15,579 were by banking institutions for their clients.
In addition Societe Generale, UBS, Credit Suisse and HSBC, are also cited the German Deutsche Bank and Nordea Scandinavian.
Offshore companies are not illegal but in corruption cases, they have been used to conceal abroad of ill-gotten gains.
Banks cited by Le Monde have defended all he could facilitate tax evasion or other illegal activities.
“We accept offshore structures if they serve legitimate purposes,” said Tuesday in Hong Kong Tidjane Thiam, CEO of Credit Suisse, the Bloomberg News Agency. “Obviously, tax evasion does not belong.”
A spokesman for UBS told AFP that his bank “conducts its business in full compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The bank has no interest in funds that are not tax compliant or which originate from illegal activities “.
HSBC has also distinguished the case. “These allegations are historical, dating back to some 20 years. They are prerequisites for significant reforms, well known, we have implemented in recent years,” said Gareth Hewett told AFP a spokesman in a statement.
As for Societe Generale, said Monday no longer hold since 2012, directly or indirectly, any settlement activity in the states and non-cooperative jurisdictions.