The BNP Paribas logo is seen during the Viva Technology conference in Paris
BERLIN (Reuters) – The premises of BNP Paribas
The French bank confirmed on Wednesday this information initially reported by the daily Handelsblatt.
“As we have already done since the start of this investigation in 2017, we continue to cooperate fully with the prosecution in accordance with legal requirements,” BNP Paribas said, adding that it could not comment further.
The German public prosecutor’s office for its part declared to carry out since Tuesday searches within a banking institution, which it did not name, in Frankfurt within the framework of the scandal “cum-ex”.
About 130 representatives of the prosecution, tax investigators and police are involved in these searches which also concern private residences in three German Länder, said the prosecution.
The investigation is focusing on 58 suspects who have been or are still professionally active in this establishment and the searches are aimed at finding possible emails or written correspondence, he added.
The so-called “cum-ex” mechanism, which flourished after the 2008 financial crisis, consists of high-frequency exchanges of shares in periods of dividend payments, in order to allow multiple parties to subsequently claim tax refunds.
The scandal, largely revealed by an international investigation in 2018, has cost taxpayers billions of euros in several European countries, according to parliamentarians.
A large number of banks have been targeted by searches as part of the German prosecution’s investigations, including the German subsidiaries of Barclays, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley in recent months.
According to German government officials, the investigation involves around 100 banking establishments on four continents and around 1,000 suspects.
The BNP share amplified its decline following this information, before reducing its losses again, and it yielded 1.1% at the end of the morning on the Paris Stock Exchange, while the CAC 40 fell by 0.4 %.
(Report Marta Orosz, written by Miranda Murray, with the contribution of Sudip Kar-Gupta, French version Jean-Stéphane Brosse and Bertrand Boucey, edited by Kate Entringer and Blandine Hénault)