EIB reinforces efforts to fight tax avoidance
- May 27, 2009
The European Investment Bank (EIB) Group ensures that beneficiaries of EIB funding conform to international standards on the use of offshore financial centres. Achieving this requires, among others, appropriate anti-fraud measures in EIB's business dealings and contracts. These measures have been strengthened through the public consultation process and ultimately the adoption by the Board of Directors in April 2008 of EIB's anti-fraud and corruption policies and procedures. Read the policy and additional information about the public consultation process.
Strict internal rules regarding the use of offshore financial centres have been in place at the EIB for several years and are also now available on the Bank’s website. In light of the conclusions of the G20 summit of World Leaders in London in April 2009 regarding offshore financial centres, the EIB’s Board of Directors took the initiative to encourage a review of the EIB Group’s established policy in this area.
The review will aim to ensure that the EIB’s lending activities continue to mitigate against lost income from assets that are kept hidden in tax havens in developed and developing countries. It will be undertaken in close cooperation with other international financial institutions to ensure that EIB continues to comply with the latest requirements and remains at the forefront of compliance in this respect.
Commenting on the Bank’s offshore financial centres policy, EIB President, Philippe Maystadt said, “The EIB is committed to ensuring that its loans are used for the purposes intended, the promotion of European Union priority objectives”. EIB staff and management cooperate in a concerted effort to guarantee that its operations are free from prohibited practices, money laundering and terrorist financing.
Both the EIB and the EIF have clear and vigilant policies in place regarding the use of offshore centres: the EIB Group will only permit this financing option under certain restricted conditions, notably the maintenance of full transparency of the relevant financial structure.
The EIB’s strictly enforced procedures in this respect mean that all projects both inside and outside the Union connected to offshore financial centres are subject to an enhanced control on behalf of the relevant EIB services to ensure that funds channelled through the project’s borrowers are not used for prohibited practices. This monitoring includes a complete examination of the concrete features of any proposed financing operation on a case-by-case basis, and the Bank commits to informing the EIB Board of Directors of such aspects prior to project approval.