European banks 'considering overseas subsidiaries'

1 September 2011

Banks across Europe are looking to expand their business and trade via overseas subsidiaries.

Bloomberg reports that such moves could serve to move tax revenue away from London and might reduce the influence exerted by regulators in Europe over the banking sector.

A number of institutes, including HSBC - which has around 7,500 offices in 87 countries - UBS and Nomura Holdings, are aiming to increase business via legal entities in locations that offer lower tax rates and less-strict rules regarding capital.

Chris Matten, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said every institute is reviewing its structure, noting: "It's not just a question of what activities banks are in. It's about which entities they put that business through and in which jurisdictions."

The industry figure added banks could enjoy around 30 per cent of the value of their trades should they focus on areas such as Singapore and Hong Kong rather than on New York and London.

By Tony Aynsley

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