Friday, 04 September 2009

EIB: funding development through tax havens

The European Commission and big member states like France and Germany are planning a crack down on tax havens (while Britain is pretending to). So it might come as a surprise that the EU’s house bank, the European Investment Bank (EIB), is busily lending to companies established in tax havens. Particularly notable is EIB lending for supposed development projects in poor countries. In reality, this ‘development assistance’ is a way to channel low-cost public capital to private equity firms that look for projects with juicy returns of 20 percent or more, before remitting the proceeds to low or no-tax and minimum transparency jurisdictions such as Mauritius.