FCA probes a further 44 firms over Panama Papers

Added 27th April 2016

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has asked a further 44 financial services firms to disclose their involvement in the tax-evasive practices uncovered by the Panama Papers leak.

FCA probes a further 44 firms over Panama Papers

The move, part of an ongoing £10m ($14.1m, €12.4m) investigation being carried out with HM Revenue & Customs, the National Crime Agency and the Serious Fraud Office, was announced by the regulator’s acting chief executive Tracy McDermott on Tuesday

Speaking at a Treasury select committee hearing, she said the FCA had written to a “second tranche” of firms asking them to clarify any connections to the scandal on top of the 20 it had originally asked.

Panama Papers leak

On 3 April, more than 11 million documents were leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, exposing how institutions, politicians and public officials around the world use offshore companies to avoid paying tax.


Days later, the FCA sent out letters to 20 businesses giving them a deadline of 15 April in which to carry out their own inquiries into potential ties to the scandal.

Meanwhile, HMRC is already investigating 700 leads linked to Panama.

During the hearing, McDermott told MPs that it was “far too early” to discuss the preliminary findings of the investigation, adding that “there’s nothing necessarily illegal about having offshore arrangements; it’s all about their purpose”.

She said that without full access to the leaked documents “the challenge at the moment is actually knowing where the tip of the iceberg is”.

The documents - which were apparently leaked by an anonymous source to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung - were then passed on to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the BBC and the Guardian.

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Monira Matin

Senior Reporter

Monira joined International Adviser in March 2016 from Informa Global Markets where she worked as a eurobond reporter for over two years, covering fixed income markets. She has previously held a number of editorial positions covering politics, insurance and technology. Monira has a degree in Journalism and Economics from City University.



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