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"Time is right for greater transparency in global banking" - Sharon Bowles MEP

February 25, 2013 2:56 PM
Originally published by Sharon Bowles

Sharon Bowles has sent a joint letter* today to the 27 Finance Ministers across the EU calling on them to force banks to reveal how much tax they pay, what their turnover is and what their profits are in each country in which they operate. This is part of the ongoing discussions on the Capital Requirements Directive in the European Parliament which seeks to ensure stricter transparency for banks as well as to implement Basel III bank capital rules.

The proposals for banks to report this information come after similar transparency rules are being considered in the EU for the extractive and forestry industries as part of the Accounting and Transparency Directives.

Sharon Bowles said:

"Banks play such a central role in our society and in funding our economy. Country-by country reporting for these institutions would therefore be a symbolic disclosure that would set the path towards greater transparency in other sectors, currently under discussion."

"What we are asking for is actually quite modest. If finance ministers can't sign up to it, then one has to ask why not. Is it because there is something to hide? In which case there is even more reason for disclosure."

ENDS

Note to editors:

*The letter has also been signed by Phillipe Lamberts MEP (Belgian, Green) and Udo Bullman MEP (German, Socialist and Democrats). The text of the letter can be read here http://sharonbowles.org.uk/en/article/2013/662783/sharon-signs-open-letter-to-ecofin-ministers-calling-for-country-by-country-reporting

The proposal also has the support of the Internal Market Commissioner, Michel Barnier http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/54b1c584-7abf-11e2-915b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2LuLXwNca.

For more information on Sharon Bowles' work on increasing transparency in corporate financial reporting please visit her 'Own up, Pay up' campaign on her website: http://sharonbowles.org.uk/en/page/own-up-pay-up