BNP Paribas to exit Cayman Islands by selling last two branches

Added 24th May 2016

French banking giant BNP Paribas is set to pull out of the Cayman Islands, according to local trade group Attac.

BNP Paribas to exit Cayman Islands by selling last two branches

The Association for the Taxation of financial Transactions and Aid to Citizens (Attac) reported on Tuesday that the bank plans to close its remaining businesses on the islands, citing the minutes of a committee meeting of BNP Paribas’ central works council held on 3 May.

The bank’s annual report revealed that it currently has two branches on the islands - the corporate and institutional banking division of BNP Paribas and the Bank of the West, its US-based retail bank.

Panama Papers

The news comes a day before the bank’s deputy chief operating officer Jacques d'Estais is due to appear before the French senate at a hearing relating to the Panama Papers - a collection of more than 11 million documents leaked from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca - exposing how financial institutions, politicians and public officials around the world use offshore companies to avoid paying tax.

Earlier this month, the United Nations named the Cayman Islands along with the British Virgin Islands as British tax havens that had received some $72bn (£50bn, €64bn) of company funds last year.

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