The furor over the information disclosed in the Panama Papers has translated in the launching of major governmental investigations over tax haven company formation. Yesterday, BNP Paribas advised that it is closing all its Cayman Islands branch facilities. This announcement came in the aftermath of some very public statements, made by the Government of France, regarding its inquiries into the abuse of tax haven corporations, by French citizens.
BNP Paribas has been the subject of multiple law enforcement and regulatory inquiries in the past, especially concerning suspected money laundering, in a number of countries, including the United States, where there are still unresolved questions about the bank's business with certain of its Venezuelan clients, transactions involving Iran, and Nigerian PEPs.
We have previously covered a number of its compliance deficiencies, and other relevant issues in prior articles, which readers may be accessed through the search box at the top of the page. Some observers have questioned the adequacy of its compliance culture, and opined that, in many instances, the demands of officers in the bank's most profitable divisions appear to have trumped valid AML compliance concerns.