French Authorities Raid 5 Major Banks in €100 Billion Fraud Investigation

Joshua Ramos
Source: PYMNTS

French authorities have reportedly raided five major banks in a €100 billion fraud investigation, according to a report from Deutsche Welle (DW) on Tuesday. Moreover, the probe was connected to a potential money laundering case involving both the French and German governments.

The searches have taken place within Paris and surrounding areas. Specifically, targeting four French banks, and one international one, according to a spokesperson for France’s Financial Prosecutors Office (PNF). Subsequently, the investigative efforts are said to be ongoing.

Five Banks Targeted in French Investigation

According to a report made Tuesday, French authorities have raided five major banks in a €100 billion fraud investigation. Additionally, the French and German governments are working to probe a potential money laundering case involving several financial institutions.

The banks under investigation are: Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, Exane, Natixis, and HSBC. Specifically, they are being probed over the “legally dubious ‘cum cum’ practices,” according to DW. Moreover, those practices entail banks creating complex legal frameworks to aid wealthy consumers in avoiding certain tax liabilities for dividends.

Source: BNP Paribas

Ultimately, the purposes of the investigation are connected to questionable tax practices by these banks. The authorities have stated the institutions are “suspected of aggravated tax fraud laundering.” Alternatively, BNP and Exane are “suspected of aggravated tax fraud.”

Additionally, DW reported that the raids that took place Tuesday are in connection with PNF investigations that were opened in December of 2021. “The ongoing operations, which have required several months of preparation, are being carried out by 16 investigating judges and over 150 investigation agents,” the PNF stated in a subsequent statement according to DW.