Tuesday 20 February 2018

Banking giants pay 2pc tax here on mega-profits

Banks shifting funds here for 'tax avoidance'
Crédit Agricole paid a tax rate of just 2pc, Oxfam’s report said (Stock picture)
Crédit Agricole paid a tax rate of just 2pc, Oxfam’s report said (Stock picture)

Sean Duffy

Some of Europe's leading banks based here are paying tax rates as low as 2pc, according to a new report.

In the wake of the European Commission's €13bn Apple tax ruling, the revelations will do further damage to Ireland's reputation.

Barclays, RBS and Crédit Agricole paid an effective tax rate here of just 2pc in 2015.

Overall, the new report says 16 of the top 20 European banks operating in Ireland were paying an effective tax rate of 6pc or less.That is well below the levels outlined by the Government when attracting companies here.

The report from Oxfam says five banks - RBS, Société Générale, UniCredit, Santander and BBVA - recorded profits in Ireland that were higher than their turnover. Oxfam says the data "potentially suggests that they are artificially shifting profits to Ireland".

A Department of Finance spokesman rejected the assertions in the report: "Ireland is also fully compliant with all international best practices in the areas of tax transparency and exchange of information."

The report rated Ireland as the fourth-worst tax haven in the world, according to banks' reported profits, behind Hong Kong, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Irish Independent

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