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German Regulator to Examine Banks’ Business in Tax Havens

Germany’s finance industry regulator Bafin will examine the businesses that banks conduct offshore as part of efforts to crack down on tax evasion.

Companies will have to say why they operate in so-called tax havens and who they work with, Raimund Roeseler, head of banking supervision at Bafin, said in an interview in newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung. Sven Gebauer, a spokesman for Bonn-based Bafin, confirmed the comments.

Leaked documents reported in newspapers including the Guardian concerning more than 120,000 offshore businesses and trusts have put the spotlight on tax havens such as the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said he will seek support for fighting tax evasion at last week’s meeting of global finance chiefs in Washington.

Roeseler also said Bafin has yet to conclude its probe into banks’ alleged rigging of interbank borrowing rates. The regulator will intensify its scrutiny in some areas and investigations must determine if management board members were responsible for wrongdoing, he said.

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