Bloomberg News reports that a Monday report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, drawing on 11.5m records extracted from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, shows how European banks including Societe Generale once helped customers create offshore entities.
While the use of these offshore companies can be perfectly legal, the documents have drawn global attention since their first publication on Sunday because they demonstrate the extent of efforts to shelter celebrities, business leaders and politicians using secretive financial tools.
Societe Generale’s top management was asked to meet Sapin for explanations following media reports, Budget Minister Christian Eckert said on LCP television Tuesday. Controls are underway and all options may be explored, including possibly sanctions, even if “we are not yet there,” he added. Societe General declined to comment on the meeting.
Societe Generale has a “proactive policy with regard to the fight against fraud and tax avoidance,” it said in a statement Monday, confirming that it spoke about the closure of its Panama business back in 2012 at a French Senate hearing.
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