Five of the world’s biggest investment banks paid no corporation tax in the UK last year despite making billions of pounds in profits.
JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank AG, Nomura Holding, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and UBS AG paid a combined total of £21m in corporation tax, from £20bn in UK revenues and £3.5bn of profit.
Meanwhile, JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank AG, Nomura Holding and Morgan Stanley all said their main UK arms paid no corporation tax whatsoever.
JP Morgan noted in its filing that it had a 2014 UK tax liability of $524 million but that this was offset by foreign tax credits, overpayments in previous periods and “the benefit of other available tax reliefs”. A spokesman declined to provide additional details to Reuters.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch produced a zero tax bill on $550 million in profits by “the utilisation of historical losses brought forward”, its filings said, due to more than $34 billion in UK losses generated in 2007 and 2008. Switzerland’s UBS AG also reduced its UK tax bill due to previous losses.
Deutsche Bank reported a loss of €2.2 billion in 2014 in Britain, where it employs 8,000, but reported €549 million profit in Luxembourg, where it employed 610 people in 2014.
The lack of UK profit led to a zero tax bill, the same reason for Morgan Stanley's zero tax, despite generated profits of $1.8 billion in 2014 from non-US revenues (half of which come from the London arm, according to Reuters.
HMRC and the finance ministry declined to comment to Reuters on the banks’ payments, citing taxpayer confidentiality. HMRC said it applied the tax rules set by government without discretion.