Reuters analysis of corporate filings has shown that seven of the biggest investment banks operating in London paid little or no tax in Britain last year. As Grace Pascoe reports, that's despite billions of dollars in profits.
31 million dollars - It may sound like a lot but perhaps not when you consider its the amount seven big investment banks paid in UK tax last year. Despite generating revenues of 31 billion dollars and profits of 5.3 billion. Reuters Tom Bergin investigated the corporate filings. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, TOM BERGIN, SAYING: "The reasons for the small tax bills vary very much from bank to bank. Some banks like JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs report vast profits in London but pay little tax because they use tax reliefs and past profits to offset against their current profits. Other banks say they don't make much profit in London despite having significant activities here." Five of the banks - JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Nomura and Morgan Stanley - said their main UK arms paid no corporation tax. And all seven banks, which also include Goldman Sachs and UBS. Used tax breaks and tax losses generated during the banking crisis to reduce tax bills. Seven Investment Management's Ben Kumar. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SEVEN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, BEN KUMAR, SAYING: "It is very tough to know what goes on in banks in terms of revenue and profit and also they have been hit with a lot of fines recently, ever since the financial crisis. So while they may have paid no tax, they have also been paying quite a lot of money the governments' way." The banks filings are only available due to a change in EU rules. Requiring banks to publish country-by-country profit and tax break-downs. All seven banks declined to comment. Despite them showing all UK tax rules were followed.