Danish Bank Also in Spanish Tax Trap

January 16th, 2012
Story by PETER Nyholm and JULIE Hornbek TOFT | Finans Watch

Although the Danish Bank Tuesday clearly distanced themselves from tax-finten on the coast, the bank has offered tax-reduction programs through Luxembourg, which a few years ago were classified as tax havens.

Danish Bank has actively helped to reduce the tax for customers through tax havens.

It has a number of years until 2008, passed by the Danish Bank Luxembourg’s website that “you can reduce taxes on your earnings on investments, wealth tax and inheritance tax by placing your assets in the right structure.”

It also showed that as a resident in Spain must pay tax on its values, regardless of where they are located – whether it is deposit accounts, real estate, pensions, etc. So it was that which Danish Bank offered customers residing outside Denmark to avoid paying the tax through the counseling service is Wealth Planning, based in Luxembourg – a performance by the bank in fact still advertise. Now discussed Wealth Planning in conjunction with “tax-efficient solutions.”
Hides not money

CEO Klaus nsted Pedersen from the Danish International Bank has stated in the newspaper Jyllands-Posten’s article series on Sydbank model to borrow against property in Spain through Nykredit with the primary aim of reducing customers’ inheritance tax:

“The Danish Bank, we provide no advice for tax evasion. It is not something we make products. We help, of course, our customers optimize their economy, but we help them not to hide money for tax authorities. It is well established policy we have in this field that permeates our entire organization, “said the nsted Klaus Pedersen.

Jyllands-Posten is in possession of an exact correspondence between Danish Bank nsted Klaus Pedersen and the British MEP Sharon Bowles, who speak a financially pressed British couples action. The couple, who are in the 80s, in 2003, mortgaged their home equity in a luxury property in Spain with a mortgage to transfer money to third parties where they were invested.

The product is referred to as Equity Release Scheme, and can recall what Sydbank have offered to their Spanish customers. The letter states that the couple had been promised that the inheritance tax on their property could be avoided. The assets would be available through a private banking event in Luxembourg, as the couple made a profit on the transaction by investing their money in low-risk bonds.
Deficit: 268,000

It did not go so well with the investment. According to the letter to Klaus nsted Pedersen was ended with a deficit of 268,000 euros. Parliament member indicated also that experts believed that the model could not possibly make a profit because of the interest from mortgage loans. In addition, the couple had subsequently been informed that their heirs still would not respond Spanish property – and that they still had not been exempted from tax by using the model if it had been the case.

The letter, also sent to the Danish ambassador in London, Birger Riis-Jørgensen, also shows that the Danish Bank did not have permission to seek customers outside their Scandinavian customer base in Spain. The Danish Bank today do not share in.

Danish Bank Luxembourg director, Klaus nsted Pedersen, offered a settlement with the couple because the couple was about to be kicked out of their house because of the huge debt incurred after the event.

Submitted some of Jyllands-Posten’s record in this case says Klaus Pedersen nsted that wording tax reduction, the bank has previously spent several years on his website, is unfortunate:

“I remember formulating tax reduction. It is unfortunate that should have been tax optimization, “says Klaus nsted Pedersen, comparing its products with advice that you can avoid the top marginal tax rate by paying on an installment pension scheme.

Danish Bank director confirmed that the Luxembourg bank does not automatically transmit property to the Spanish authorities. It is the customer’s responsibility. But it’s not the reason why customers should choose Danish Bank Luxembourg than for example a Spanish bank:
Special expertise

“Our position is that you must pay tax in the country you live in. The reason why you should choose to be a customer of ours over a Spanish bank, is that we have an expertise in international relations as one not find in a Spanish or Danish bank. And so we speak Danish. Therefore it makes sense to be a customer in Luxembourg. “

Klaus nsted Pedersen says that he can not comment on the specific case of the British couple. He said nevertheless:

“All bankers are experiencing disputes with clients after an unfortunate situation, then find a solution.”

 

Original Article in Danish

 

Danske Bank også med i spansk skattefinte

AF PETER NYHOLM og JULIE HORNBEK TOFT
Offentliggjort 16.01.12 kl. 06:57
Selv om Danske Bank tirsdag klart tog afstand fra skattely-finten på Solkysten, har banken tilbudt skatte-reduktionsprogrammer via Luxembourg, der for få år siden var klassificeret som skattely.

Foto: Jonas Pryner Andersen
Danske Bank har aktivt hjulpet med at reducere skatten for kunderne via skattely.

Det har i en årrække frem til 2008 fremgået af Danske Banks Luxembourgs hjemmeside, at »du kan reducere skatten på dit afkast fra investeringer, formueskat og arveafgift ved at placere dine aktiver i den rette struktur.«

Det fremgik også, at man som bosiddende i Spanien skal betale skat af sine værdier uanset, hvor i verden de er placeret – om det er indlånskonti, fast ejendom, pensioner osv. Det var altså det, som Danske Bank tilbød kunder bosiddende uden for Danmark at slippe billigere fra skattemæssigt via rådgivningsydelsen Wealth Planning med udgangspunkt i Luxembourg – en ydelse, som banken for øvrigt stadig reklamerer for. Nu omtales Wealth Planning sammen med »skatteeffektive løsninger«.
Skjuler ikke penge

Adm. direktør Klaus Mønsted Pedersen fra Danske Bank International udtalte følgende i Morgenavisen Jyllands-Postens artikelserie om Sydbanks model til belåne ejendomme i Spanien via Nykredit med det primære formål at reducere kundernes arveafgift:

»I Danske Bank yder vi ikke rådgivning med henblik på skatteunddragelse. Det er heller ikke noget, vi laver produkter til. Vi hjælper selvfølgelig vores kunder med at optimere deres økonomi, men vi hjælper dem ikke med at skjule penge for skattevæsnet. Det er en fasttømret politik, vi har på området, der gennemsyrer hele vores organisation,« lød det fra Klaus Mønsted Pedersen.

Jyllands-Posten er imidlertid i besiddelse af en korrespondance mellem netop Danske Banks Klaus Mønsted Pedersen og det britiske parlamentsmedlem Sharon Bowles, der taler et økonomisk presset britisk ægtepars sag. Parret, der er i 80’erne, belånte i 2003 deres friværdi i en luksusejendom i Spanien med et realkreditlån for at overføre pengene til tredjepart, hvor de blev investeret.

Produktet omtales som Equity Release Scheme, og kan minde om det, som Sydbank har tilbudt til deres spanske kunder. Af brevet fremgår det, at ægteparret var blevet stillet i udsigt, at arveafgift på deres ejendom kunne undgås. Formuen ville være tilgængelig via et private banking-arrangement i Luxembourg, ligesom ægteparret ville få overskud på transaktionen ved at investere deres penge i lavrisiko-obligationer.
Underskud: 268.000

Det gik dog ikke så godt med investeringen. Ifølge brevet til Klaus Mønsted Pedersen var det endt med et underskud på 268.000 euro. Parlamentsmedlemmet oplyste samtidig, at eksperter mente, at modellen umuligt kunne give overskud pga. renterne fra realkreditlånene. Hertil kommer, at ægteparret senere var blevet orienteret om, at deres arvinger alligevel ikke skulle svare spansk ejendomsskat – og at de alligevel ikke var blevet undtaget for skatten ved at bruge modellen, hvis det havde været tilfældet.

Af brevet, der også er sendt til den danske ambassadør i London, Birger Riis-Jørgensen, fremgår det også, at Danske Bank ikke havde tilladelse til at opsøge kunder uden for deres skandinaviske kundebase i Spanien. Det er Danske Bank i dag dog ikke enige i.

Danske Banks Luxembourg-direktør, Klaus Mønsted Pedersen, tilbød et forlig med parret, da ægteparret stod over for at blive smidt ud af deres hus pga. den store gæld opstået efter arrangementet.

Forelagt noget af Jyllands-Postens dokumentation i sagen oplyser Klaus Mønsted Pedersen, at ordvalget skattereduktion, som banken tidligere har brugt i en årrække på sin hjemmeside, er uheldigt:

»Jeg kan godt huske formuleringen skattereduktion. Den er uheldig, der skulle have stået skatteoptimering,« siger Klaus Mønsted Pedersen, som sammenligner bankens produkter med rådgivning i, at man kan undgå topskat ved at indbetale på en ratepensionsordning.

Danske Bank-direktøren bekræfter, at Luxembourg-banken ikke automatisk indberetter formueforhold til de spanske myndigheder. Det er kundens eget ansvar. Men det er ikke årsagen til, at kunderne skal vælge Danske Bank Luxembourg frem for eksempelvis en spansk bank:
Særlig ekspertise

»Vores holdning er, at man skal svare skat i det land, som man bor i. Grunden til, at man skal vælge at være kunde hos os frem for en spansk bank, er, at vi har en ekspertise i internationale forhold, som man ikke finder i en spansk eller dansk bank. Og så taler vi dansk. Derfor giver det mening at være kunde i Luxembourg.«

Klaus Mønsted Pedersen oplyser, at han ikke må kommentere den konkrete sag om det britiske ægtepar. Han siger dog alligevel:

»Alle bankfolk oplever tvister med kunder efter en uheldig situation, så finder man en løsning.«

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