DP12222 | Banks Defy Gravity in Tax Havens

Publication Date

08/14/2017

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Abstract

This paper provides the first quantitative assessment of the contribution of global banks in intermediating tax evasion. Applying gravity equations on a unique regulatory dataset based on comprehensive individual country-by-country reporting from all the Systemically Important Banks the European Union, we find that: 1) Tax havens generate a threefold extra presence of foreign banks; 2) The favorite destinations of tax evasion intermediated by European banks are Luxembourg and Monaco 3) British and German banks display the most aggressive strategies in tax havens ; 4) New transparency requirements imposed in 2015 have not changed European banks commercial presence in tax havens; 5) Banks intermediate e550 billion of offshore deposits, that is 5% of their origin countries' GDP.