Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Finanza e Sistema Bancario, Unione Europea

Commerzbank. Un grandioso scandalo che coinvolge anche l’Italia.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2019-09-14.

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Le dimensioni dello scandalo che sta coinvolgendo Commerzbank sono di  dimensioni tali che se ne occupa persino il giornale ufficiale del Governo cinese.

«German authorities are widening their investigations into what might become the biggest tax scandal in German history, the German business newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Tuesday.»

«According to Handelsblatt, the head office of Commerzbank in Frankfurt was searched in connection to suspected tax fraud, in which the bank was believed to have sold blocks of shares used for illegal cum-ex trading»

«The controversial cum-ex deals took advantage of a legal loophole that was closed in Germany in 2012 which enabled participants to obtain multiple refunds on a tax that was only paid once.»

«According to the latest figures from the German Ministry of Finance, 499 cases with a volume of 5.5 billion euros (6.7 billion U.S. dollars) linked to the cum-ex deals were currently under investigation.»

«However, the actual tax loss in Germany from cum-ex trading was estimated to be much higher, the German Finance Ministry noted.»

«The first criminal trial against two British investment bankers in the context of the cum-ex deals was opened at the regional court in Bonn at the start of September.»

* * *

«One hundred financial institutions linked to decade-long fraud that exploited tax code flaw»

«Cologne prosecutors have raided Commerzbank’s Frankfurt headquarters as part of a criminal investigation into a decade-long tax fraud that cost the country billions of euros»

«The latest raid is one of a number of nationwide investigations into the “cum-ex” scandal, described as the worst tax scam in German history, whereby financial groups and their clients allegedly exploited a design flaw in the tax code to trick authorities into refunding dividend tax that had never actually been paid»

«However, its internal probe into the cum-ex linked equity transactions of Dresdner Bank, the rival German lender it bought in 2009, had not yet been completed and disclosed to prosecutors.»

«A cum-ex deal typically involved a trader borrowing a block of shares to bet against them using a technique called short selling in the run-up to dividend day and then selling them across national borders to another investor»

«A loophole meant parties on both sides of the trade could successfully claim a refund of withholding taxes paid on the dividend»

«About 100 financial institutions have been linked to cum-ex deals, including crosstown rival Deutsche Bank, DZ Bank and HypoVereinsbank, the German division of Italian lender UniCredit»

* * * * * * *

Stabilirà il tribunale se ci sia stata frode fiscale e, nel caso, l’ammontare esatto. Se le voci fossero vere, si tratterebbe di una cifra superiore ai 5.5 miliardi di euro. Oltre, ovviamente, al danno di immagine.

Tuttavia al momento alcune considerazioni sembrerebbero essere lecite.

– Le banche tedesche stanno rapidamente involvendosi. il cum-ex è solo l’ultimo scandalo emerso, ma c’è sempre tutto il resto.

– La legislazione bancaria e fiscale tedesca, come peraltro quella di quasi tutti gli stati dell’Unione Europea e le stesse direttive della banca centrale sono prolisse, ridondanti, in continuo ingiustificato rinnovamento, ove tutto è detto e tutto è negato. Costituiscono un blocco di migliaia di pagine, ove al testo base si assommano migliaia di casi particolari ed eccezioni.

– Nessuno si illuda che lo scandalo sia limitato alla Germania: per esempio, la HypoVereinsbank è italiana, di UniCredit.


Financial Times. 2019-09-11. Commerzbank raided by prosecutors investigating German tax scandal

One hundred financial institutions linked to decade-long fraud that exploited tax code flaw.

Cologne prosecutors have raided Commerzbank’s Frankfurt headquarters as part of a criminal investigation into a decade-long tax fraud that cost the country billions of euros. The latest raid is one of a number of nationwide investigations into the “cum-ex” scandal, described as the worst tax scam in German history, whereby financial groups and their clients allegedly exploited a design flaw in the tax code to trick authorities into refunding dividend tax that had never actually been paid. In a statement, the prosecutor’s office said that “investigative measures” were carried out on Tuesday “within the framework of the procedure complex around the cum-ex transactions”. It said that “due to tax secrecy”, no further information could be provided. “We cannot comment on ongoing investigations,” Commerzbank said. “We are fully co-operating with the authorities and hope the matter is resolved as quickly as possible.” Commerzbank said in its most recent financial report it had “initiated a forensic analysis of cum-ex transactions” between 2015 and 2018 and handed over the results to authorities. However, its internal probe into the cum-ex linked equity transactions of Dresdner Bank, the rival German lender it bought in 2009, had not yet been completed and disclosed to prosecutors. A cum-ex deal typically involved a trader borrowing a block of shares to bet against them using a technique called short selling in the run-up to dividend day and then selling them across national borders to another investor. A loophole meant parties on both sides of the trade could successfully claim a refund of withholding taxes paid on the dividend — even though authorities say in reality only a single rebate was due. Germany’s finance ministry has said that 499 deals worth €5.5bn that took place between 2001 and 2011 are being investigated, and €2.4bn has already been recovered by tax authorities Commerzbank is not the only organisation under scrutiny. About 100 financial institutions have been linked to cum-ex deals, including crosstown rival Deutsche Bank, DZ Bank and HypoVereinsbank, the German division of Italian lender UniCredit. Last week, two British former stockbrokers went on trial in Bonn accused of defrauding German taxpayers of €440m in lost tax, and face up to 10 years in jail. Cologne investigators are also probing Deutsche’s former investment banking boss Garth Ritchie, as well as other current and former employees, over any knowledge of and involvement in illicit tax transactions, the Financial Times reported in June. Mr Ritchie has said he is confident the investigation will show no wrongdoing by him. Late last year Deutsche paid €4m to settle a separate cum-ex investigation by the Frankfurt general prosecutor’s office that looked into how the bank helped clients agree the illicit deals. Deutsche maintains it never actively participated in such transactions “as a short seller nor as cum-ex purchaser”, but acknowledges that “as a big market participant, [it] was involved in cum-ex deals of customers”.

*


Xinhuanet. 2019-09-11. German Commerzbank searched in connection with tax fraud scandal: report

BERLIN, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — German authorities are widening their investigations into what might become the biggest tax scandal in German history, the German business newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Tuesday.

According to Handelsblatt, the head office of Commerzbank in Frankfurt was searched in connection to suspected tax fraud, in which the bank was believed to have sold blocks of shares used for illegal cum-ex trading.

The controversial cum-ex deals took advantage of a legal loophole that was closed in Germany in 2012 which enabled participants to obtain multiple refunds on a tax that was only paid once.

According to the latest figures from the German Ministry of Finance, 499 cases with a volume of 5.5 billion euros (6.7 billion U.S. dollars) linked to the cum-ex deals were currently under investigation.

However, the actual tax loss in Germany from cum-ex trading was estimated to be much higher, the German Finance Ministry noted.

On Tuesday, the Cologne public prosecutor´s office confirmed to Handelsblatt that “investigation measures are being carried out today as part of the complex of proceedings surrounding the cum-ex transactions,” without giving further details.

Commerzbank declined to comment on “ongoing investigations” but was fully cooperating with the authorities. “It is in our own interest that this matter be resolved as quickly as possible”, a spokesperson told Handelsblatt.

The business newspaper reported that German investigators suspected that Commerzbank, as a service provider, had not collected any capital taxes itself but had indirectly benefited from the business structure around cum-ex deals.

The first criminal trial against two British investment bankers in the context of the cum-ex deals was opened at the regional court in Bonn at the start of September. The two bankers are accused of having caused tax losses of more than 440 million euros.(1 euro = 1.10 U.S. dollars)

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