Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Societe Generale leaving Panama (again)

This the case of the bankers who cried "wolf".

Societe Generale with great fanfare announced that they were leaving Panama in 2010 because of its "tax haven" status. What the media had missed was that they already announced in 2002 they were leaving Panama because of the country being considered a tax haven. Somehow Panama was a market good enough to return after 2002, or each closure is an excuse to cover up bad management of the branch.

Of course, Panama News also concluded in 2002 that the "entire offshore financial services sector's days are numbered". After that "prediction" the Panama banking sector has excess liquidity up to the point that some banks reject non-resident clients.

Now the French authorities have declared that even after Panama signing a double-taxation treaty with France, the Isthmus is still a "tax haven".

Societe Generale leaving Panama

Citing special charges and delays imposed by other countrie on financial transactions that involve Panama, France's second-largest bank, Societe Generale, is closing its operations in Panama City's banking center. Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina and Peru all discriminate against transactions involving Panama, mainly because those countries have long experience with their public officials laundering the proceeds of corrupt practices here. Societe Generale joins UBS and ABN Amro Bank in the line of European financial institutions leaving Panama, and its departure is taken by some analysts as another sign that the entire offshore financial services sector's days are numbered. July 28-August 10, 2002

Societe Generale moves Mexico ops. to France - Mexico, Panama
France's second largest private bank in terms of assets Societe Generale has decided to manage its Mexican customers' accounts from France rather than from its Panamanian branch, Societe Generale Panama CEO Celestin Cuq told Panamanian daily La Prensa.
Mexico charges a 15% tax on operations conducted through Panamanian banks, yet Mexico and France have a mutual tax waiver agreement, so it makes sense for Societe Generale to serve its Mexican clients from France, despite Panama's offshore status.
Fellow European banks UBS and ABN Amro also pulled out of Panama in 2001 for the same reason. However, Cuq said Societe Generale would maintain a representative office in Panama because it is of strategic value for securing business in Central America and the Caribbean.,_to_France Published: Friday, July 26, 2002 14:15

SOCIETE GENERALE : La SocGen examine des "anomalies" sur un compte de Singapour
Tous les articles PARIS, 1er avril (Reuters) - La Société Générale enquête sur des "anomalies" trouvées dans le compte d'un client supervisé par l'un de ses banquiers privés à Singapour, a déclaré jeudi un porte-parole de la banque.
Ce dernier n'a pas donné de précision sur la nature de ces anomalies mais il a dit qu'elles avaient été détectées en février et que la banque avait immédiatement informé les clients qui pourraient être concernés.
Il a ajouté que la banque faisait son possible pour résoudre la question rapidement dans l'intérêt de sa clientèle.
La banque a engagé en mars Benedikt Maissen, un ex-responsable de la Barclays, pour ses opérations en Asie.
Benedikt Maissen, 50 ans, rendra compte à Pierre Baer, responsable des opérations de banque privée de la Société Générale à Singapour et en Asie méridionale.
(Sudip Kar-Gupta, avec la contributioon de Wilfrid Exbrayat, édité par Jean-Michel Bélot) 01/04/10 à 16:04 - REUTERS 0 commentaire

Former Societe Generale Trader Goes on Trial
Trial began Tuesday for a former trader accused of brining losses of 5 billion euros (5.95 billion U.S. dollars) to the French bank Societe Generale SA (SG).
About 50 witnesses were expected to be called in the three-week trial of Jerome Kerviel, who is charged with forgery, breach of trust and unauthorized computer use. Kerviel faces five years in prison as well as a fine of 375,000 euros (448,000 dollars), if convicted.
In addition, his former employer Societe Generale would demand a sum of 4.9 billion euros (5.83 billion dollars) in compensation for damages, SG lawyer Jean Veil told the Sunday paper Le Journal du Dimanche. 2010-06-08 19:52:40 Xinhua Web Editor: Zhang Jin

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