EBF advisor: Roger Kaiser
Publication date: 15 February 2017
The European Banking Federation (EBF), which is the voice of the European banks, thanks the Commission for the opportunity offered to express views on whether there is a need for EU action aimed at introducing more effective disincentives for intermediaries engaged in operations that facilitate tax evasion and tax avoidance.
As an umbrella organisation representing the whole European banking sector, we have difficulties to answer the questionnaire of the consultation which seems to be directed to individual companies and legal firms.
In this context, we thought it appropriate to remind the Commission of the role of banks as obliged entities for AML purposes as well as their involvement in tax processes, the latter element having increased dramatically over the past years.
The EBF fully supports the objectives of AML and the fight against tax evasion.
We are in favour of the protection of the integrity and stability of the international financial system. Money laundering and terrorist financing are serious threats to global security and to the integrity of the financial system. Resources available to terrorists and those engaged in crime should be cut off. Banks can only live in an environment where the rule of law is fully applied.
The EBF strongly condemns tax evasion and tax fraud. They create distortions in the single market for financial services and pose a great danger to the rule of law.
The EBF experts are actively involved in international expert groups on anti-money laundering and tax transparency, both at the level of the OECD and of the EU. In these fora, we assist governments and institutions by providing expertise and workable solutions, seeking clarity on the legal and compliance requirements imposed on banks, while taking into account operational constraints, the competitive dimension, potential de-risking and the need to ensure an appropriate level of data protection and data security.