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Nordea Bank Refutes Offshore Evasion Reports

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

12 April 2016

Nordea, the largest financial services group in Northern Europe, has hit back at media claims that its private banking arm is a "provider of tax haven structures for its customers."

Accusations that Luxembourg-based Nordea International Private Banking facilitated tax dodging surfaced after reports were released about the content of the Panama Papers. However, in a statement published on the bank's website, Nordea countered that it "follows all rules and regulations related to these issues," and does not accept being used as "a platform for tax evasion."

"Our tax advice policy and ethical standards are clear: we shall not encourage or facilitate tax schemes of our customers that are regarded as tax evasion. We help our customers to pay the tax they should," the bank stated.

"At the end of 2009, Nordea International Private Banking in Luxembourg started to take proactive measures beyond the rules and regulations and beyond standards in our industry. Not all customers liked this approach and consequently the number of customers having these structures has gradually been reduced since 2009. Furthermore with the new common reporting standard in place as of January 1, this year, customers' holdings and income on their accounts will be automatically reported to the tax authorities," Nordea continued.

"Offshore structures can be used as a legal and administrative vehicle for some customers with very complex, international business. In these cases Nordea has a range of processes and controls to ensure that clients declare their account to the relevant tax authorities. For the vast majority of our customers we advise not to use offshore companies, and we do not in any case accept structures that are non-transparent towards relevant tax authorities," Nordea concluded.

TAGS: Offshore | tax | investment | business | tax avoidance | banking | financial services | Luxembourg | offshore | standards | regulation | Panama | services | Banking

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