French banks have been thrust to the fore of a controversy over
the use of secretive tax havens since an investigative news
syndicate exposed the activities of Panama law firm Mossack
"If we take ... all territories where the Mossack Fonseca worked
for us, we have 80 so-called offshore structures, none of which
(is) linked to a French resident," Philippe Brassac, chief
executive officer of Credit Agricole, told the French Senate.
Brassac said Credit Agricole no longer planned to deal with
offshore structures, even in cases where the bank was sure such
dealings were legal.
"We want to be present in international private banking only in
countries that are engaged in automatic exchange of
information," he said, referring to nations that routinely share
Deputy Chief Operating Officer of BNP Paribas, Jacques D'Estais,
said that since 2013 his bank no longer opened accounts for the
offshore structures of French fiscal residents.
BNP Paribas has demanded fiscal compliance declarations from all
clients who are residents of France, European Union or OECD
countries since 2013.
Jacques D'Estais also said BNP was closing a branch in the
"The branch of Bank of the West is inactive," Jacques D'Estais
told the Senate.
Earlier in May, the United Nations named the Cayman Islands
along with the British Virgin Islands as British tax havens that
had received some $72 billion of company funds last year.
(Reporting by Julien Ponthus and Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Mark
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