European Investment Bank exposes “hypocritical nature of western financial institutions”

   0   1 AllAfrica, AllEurope, Blog, Taxing corporations

logo_eib_en

The Guardian has published an article, picked up by media across the world, about the NGO follow-up to revelations in 2011 that the European Investment Bank had lent money to the Zambian firm Mopani Copper Mines (a.k.a. Glencore) which avoided paying tens of millions of dollars in local tax.

At that time the EIB suspended loans to Glencore and announced an investigation into the company’s activities.  Three years later the silence from the EIB has become deafening and, as The Guardian reports, 11 NGOs including TJN Africa and our colleagues at the Global Alliance for Tax Justice have written to EIB’s president Werner Hoyer, demanding the release of their report.  In their words:

“It is now close to nine months since Christian Aid made a formal complaint to the bank about its failure to publish the Mopani-Glencore report. Despite having had this considerable period of time, the bank still has not replied to the complaint. We consider this an inexplicable and unacceptable delay.”

The original allegations about tax avoidance arose from a leaked audit report commissioned by the Zambian Revenue Authority from accountants Grant Thornton and consulting firm Econ Pöyry which identified “unexplainable” increases in the mines’ operational costs between 2006 and 2008.  The effect of these cost increases was to reduce the profits booked in Zambia and lower the corporation tax liability.  This appears to be a standard use of trade mispricing techniques.

It is hard to construe the EIB’s three year delay in reporting back on the findings of its investigation in any light other than their refusal to be accountable to the wider public good.  As our colleagues at TJN Africa comment, the EIB’s stance is:

“characteristic of the hypocritical nature of western financial institutions such as the EIB who in one breath preach transparency but in another show no real and genuine commitment to practise these principles”

 


Related Posts

UN must defend target to curtail multinational companies’ tax abuse

Photo by Luca Santori, Creative Commons LicenseThe Tax Justice Network, The Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation, and the Global Alliance for Tax Justice call on the UN Secretary General to make sure the commitment to action on tax abuses by multinational companies remains part of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals.

READ MORE →

The BVI: Responsible for worldwide tax losses of $37.5 billion a year

BVI report blogAn extraordinary report by consultants Capital Economics, for BVI Finance, claims that the British Virgin Islands are responsible for $1.5 trillion of assets invested around the world, and that these result in 2.2 million jobs and $15 billion in tax revenue. A better approximation would be that the BVI imposes global tax losses of $37.5 […]

READ MORE →

Event: Making Tax Work for Women in the UK and Globally

Invitation_ Tax and Gender eventOn Wednesday 28th June 2017 at 16.30 our very own Liz Nelson will be speaking at an event in London that aims to bring together gender and tax justice advocates to highlight the need for coherent and gender-responsive fiscal policies to safeguard the rights of women and girls both in the UK and globally. The […]

READ MORE →

Historic event on women, human rights and tax justice in Bogota

BogotaLast week civil society organisations, researchers, labour union activists and policy makers met in Bogota, Colombia to explore how tax justice issues can ensure governments, multinational corporations and others meet their obligations to women in order to secure their full range of human rights. The Women’s Rights and Tax Justice conference opened with a conversation […]

READ MORE →

The Offshore Wrapper: the Panama Papers, one year on

Photos from the Protest outside PwC 1 Embankment Place, part of the Global week of action for tax justiceWelcome to the Offshore Wrapper – your weekly update from TJN.  Happy Paniversary! This week it’s been one year since the Panama Papers were leaked, and a number of organisations around the world have been marking the occasion though the global week of action for tax justice. In London, activists from the TJN and the […]

READ MORE →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top