Friday, August 21, 2009

Eva Joly tackles BNP Paribas on its tax haven subsidiaries

According to the French press, Eva Joly, Member of the European Parliament and former French examining magistrate, has called on the Board of French banking giant BNP Paribas to explain the purpose of its secrecy jurisdiction affiliates.

Madame Joly, who came to international fame for her tenacious investigations into the Elf-Acquitaine Affair during the 1990s, now chairs the European Parliament's Development Committee and is developing proposals for a parliamentary commission of enquiry into the impact of secrecy jurisdictions on development processes.

Speaking at a Europe-Ecology summer school in Nimes, she commented: "BNP was not chosen haphazardly. During our researches on Africa, we saw all too often that BNP was implicated in oil related schemes which enabled heads of state to shift state assets to their own accounts in secrecy jurisdictions."

BNP Paribas, which has received €5 billion of state aid since the start of the current crisis, has an estimated 189 affiliates in secrecy jurisdictions. Link here to watch Jean Merckaert of CCFD speaking outside the Jersey branch of BNP Paribas, which itself employs over 400 staff in Saint Helier, calling on the Board Chairman to explain the purpose of all these secrecy jurisdiction affiliates.

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