offshore banking

Guilty by Association

July 17, 2013 - Tampa, Florida, U.S. - With a sea of Panama hats in the foreground, the sign reading Panama is visible during a news conference at Tampa International Airport to announce that Copa Airlines will begin flying from TIA to Panama City, Panama starting in December [ Rechtehinweis: usage Germany only, Verwendung nur in Deutschland ]
German banks are facing increased regulation followign the Panama papers revelations.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The German government is planning to introduce a registers of offshore accounts and tighter laws and in a crackdown against tax evasion.

  • Facts


    • Hans-Walter Peters replaced Deutsche Bank co-CEO Jürgen Fitschen as president of the Association of German Banks on Monday.
    • Mr. Peters is a partner at Berenberg Bank, which was caught up in the Panama Papers scandal.
    • Banks welcome Mr. Schäuble’s transparency initiative but they argue that opening accounts in tax havens is legal.
  • Audio


  • Pdf

Banks have been a major casualty of the revelations surrounding the so-called Panama Papers. German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble has been just one vocal critic of the seeming willingness of banks to open up offshore accounts and shell companies in tax havens.

But now Germany’s private banking association has decided to go on the offensive and fight back against a “blanket rush to judgment” aimed at branding banks as accomplices of tax evaders.

Hans-Walter Peters, who was inaugurated as the new president of the Association of German Banks on Monday, taking over from Deutsche Bank co-CEO Jürgen Fitschen, certainly could have wished for a better start to his tenure, however.

The banker, a personally liable partner at Berenberg Bank, had already come under pressure before taking office, thanks to the Panama Papers. The deeply traditional private bank was apparently involved in the establishment of shell companies, according to research by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which broke the story.

Want to keep reading?

Subscribe now or log in to read our coverage of Europe’s leading economy.