ABN Amro helped hide potential tax evaders: Panama Papers
Using foreign subsidiaries, ABN Amro helped hide the fact that private clients own companies in tax havens, Trouw and the Financieele Dagblad reports based on the Panama Papers.
ABN Amro subsidiaries act as a so-called nominee shareholders, in which way the real owners of the company can be concealed. ABN Amro subsidiary Martello, for example, is nominee shareholder of 25 companies on British tax haven the Virgin Islands. The bank has at least five other subsidiaries that offer similar services.
Offering such services is not illegal, according to NU.nl. But it screening shareholders in this way does increase the risk of abuse, warns international anti-money laundering organization Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Last week ABN Amro board member Bert Meerstadt resigned after his name popped up in the Panama Papers. He is listed as the first shareholder of Morclan Corporation – company on the Virgin Islands founded by Mossack Fonseca in 2001.
Trouw and Financieele Dagblad are the two Dutch newspapers involved in the investigation into the Panama Papers - 11.5 million documents, spreadsheets, emails and other files leaked from Panamanian legal consultancy Mossack Fonseca that form the basis of a worldwide investigation into tax evasion.