Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens

Ninety eight of the FTSE 100 companies are using tax havens, where you’ll find a whopping 38% of all of their overseas companies located, Left Foot Forward can reveal.

By ActionAid’s Asha Tharoor

It is well known multinational companies use tax havens to dodge their bills. Last year ActionAid exposed how Grolsch owner SABMiller siphoned an estimated £100 million out of Africa, while Boots, Barclays and Topshop, to name just a few, have all been in the frame in the UK.

But for the first time, as Chart 1 shows, we’re able to show the massive extent of tax haven use throughout the FTSE 100.

Ninety eight are using tax havens, where you’ll find a whopping 38% of all of their overseas companies located.

Our high street banks are the heaviest users with 1,649 tax haven companies shared between Barclays, HSBC, RBS and Lloyds. Barclays has 174 companies registered in the Cayman Islands alone.

Why on earth do multinationals chose to locate so many companies in tax havens? Britain’s biggest companies have some serious questions to answer.

Chart 1:

The-biggest-tax-haven-users-in-the-FTSE-100
Developing countries lose three times more to tax havens than they receive in aid each year. This prevents them from building up their own revenue base and keeps them more dependent on international aid. The same problem hits the UK exchequer too, with estimated losses as high as £18 billion a year.

From Vince Cable

“Much of the shadow banking sector, a major contributor to the economic crisis, was only possible because of tax haven secrecy.”

…to George Osborne

“We will also target tax evasion and off-shore tax havens… Everyone must pay their fair share.”

…politicians from the UK and around the world have talked tough on the need for a crack-down – but ActionAid’s research show UK multinationals continue to do brisk business in tax havens.

Our findings are of particular concern because many of the FTSE 100 groups are set to benefit from Treasury plans to give multinationals using tax havens an £840 million tax break, by relaxing the very rules designed to prevent abuse.

These same rule changes would also give the green light for UK companies, operating in the developing world, to siphon even more of their profits out of poor countries and into tax havens.

ActionAid is part of a global campaign, pushing to end tax haven secrecy at the G20 summit in France this autumn.

Please take action and add your voice here

See also:

Profile of Richard Murphy, scourge of the tax avoidersJames Leppard, September 24th 2011

FT takes apart Osborne’s Swiss tax dealShamik Das, August 30th 2011

Osborne’s Swiss tax deal castrates international tax avoidance clampdownsDaniel Elton, August 25th 2011

Hypocrite Murdoch tells us how to vote yet avoids billions in taxClaire French, July 11th 2011

Why is Osborne relaxing anti-tax haven abuse legislation?Martin Hearson, July 1st 2011

Balls: “Rock and roll” time for tax avoidersDominic Browne, March 18th 2011

Lucas launches campaign to end £16bn tax evasion scandalShamik Das, March 17th 2011

Millionaire footballers exposed as the latest tax dodgersShamik Das, January 17th 2011

Mail and Telegraph pull anti-tax-dodging adsShamik Das, January 4th 2011

How ActionAid exposed tax dodging by brewing giant SABMillerChris Jordan, December 1st 2010

A crackdown on tax dodgers will help the poor and make huge cuts unnecessaryPaul Collins, October 20th 2010

Osborne, Mitchell and Hammond accused of tax avoidanceShamik Das, October 18th 2010

Ed Miliband turns up heat on Clegg over tax avoidanceShamik Das, August 20th 2010

More pressure on Clegg as we reveal real cost of Green’s £285m tax avoidanceShamik Das, August 19th 2010

To end aid dependency, developing countries need improved tax revenuesMartin Hearson, May 25th 2010

Tackling tax avoidance is the fair way forwardZoe Gannon, March 24th 2010

Cameron’s MEPs vote against reforms to clamp down on tax dodgersShamik Das, February 11th 2010

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.

49 Responses to “Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens”

  1. Katie

    Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens: http://t.co/3j6H9p8J reveals @ActionAidUK’s @AshaTharoor

  2. Amster

    Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens: http://t.co/3j6H9p8J reveals @ActionAidUK’s @AshaTharoor

  3. Nic Wirtz

    Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens: http://t.co/3j6H9p8J reveals @ActionAidUK’s @AshaTharoor

  4. Anson Bailey

    Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens http://t.co/gLYp1JSr #ftse

  5. Caroline Holland

    “@leftfootfwd: Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens: http://t.co/9lc9xO0G reveals @ActionAidUK’s @AshaTharoor”

  6. Spir.Sotiropoulou

    RT @leftfootfwd: Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens http://t.co/M2AzLIX8

  7. paulstpancras

    RT @spsot RT @leftfootfwd: Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens http://t.co/7eiQ3QwS < Corporate Welfare Bums

  8. Pucci D

    Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens: http://t.co/3j6H9p8J reveals @ActionAidUK’s @AshaTharoor

  9. Anthony

    Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens: http://t.co/3j6H9p8J reveals @ActionAidUK’s @AshaTharoor

  10. Philip Hollington

    RT @leftfootfwd: Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens http://t.co/7EhY1aL3

  11. Sue Orton

    Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens: http://t.co/3j6H9p8J reveals @ActionAidUK’s @AshaTharoor

  12. Daniel Elton

    @aaronjohnpeters @pennyred @ukuncut >> @ActionAidUK sniff out tax dodgers inc. Barclays, RBS and BT on @leftfootfwd: http://t.co/0XMwoLPc

  13. Linda kirby

    Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens: http://t.co/3j6H9p8J reveals @ActionAidUK’s @AshaTharoor

  14. ActionAid UK

    Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens: http://t.co/3j6H9p8J reveals @ActionAidUK’s @AshaTharoor

  15. Esme Peach

    Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens: http://t.co/3j6H9p8J reveals @ActionAidUK’s @AshaTharoor

  16. Michael

    Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens l Left Foot Forward – http://t.co/d72hSm3r

  17. Elizabeth Poulton

    Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens: http://t.co/3j6H9p8J reveals @ActionAidUK’s @AshaTharoor

  18. KevinRogers

    Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens l Left Foot Forward – http://t.co/d72hSm3r

  19. Alex Braithwaite

    RT @leftfootfwd: Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens http://t.co/SNDzGK1F

  20. Noxi

    Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens: http://t.co/3UKmo4sC reveals @ActionAidUK’s @AshaTharoor RT @leftfootfwd

  21. Anon E Mouse

    With The Guardian Media Group being one of the biggest offenders of legal tax avoidance I cannot see why this article is being published on this fine blog.

    Left Foot Forward should start uploading less articles inspired by individuals who are multi millionaires – Polly Toynbee for example with her stinking hypocrisy and start representing the working classes.

    At least the three companies mentioned here, Boots, Top Shop and Barclays employ an awful lot of people in this country (perhaps that explains why the last Labour government rewarded all the bankers, city slickers and spivs in the way it did) which is a damn sight more than the Guardian Newspaper does.

    Which is why this article should not have been published on a Labour supporting blog.

    What is wrong with you people?

  22. ActionAid UK

    Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens: http://t.co/3UKmo4sC reveals @ActionAidUK’s @AshaTharoor RT @leftfootfwd

  23. andrea shufflebotham

    well done @ActionAidUK on the front page of Metro story – 98 of FTSE 100 companies addicted to tax havens http://t.co/nv3eK3VN

  24. Selohesra

    Directors of these companies have obligations to their shareholders – it would be remiss of them to structure their affairs so as to pay more tax than they need to. It is no different to utilising tax efficient investing in ISAs by ordinary individuals.

  25. Chris Fenton

    I pay my tax, you pay yours, but these guys don't pay there's http://t.co/EwcmdJP1 what a smack in the face!

  26. John Cooper

    “Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens: http://t.co/JuwaUnG7 reveals @ActionAidUK < time to end addiction

  27. David Brown

    quelle surprise? we bail out banks, they evade tax “@leftfootfwd: 98 of FTSE 100 addicted to tax havens: http://t.co/EZZF94Ai @ActionAidUK”

  28. ActionAid UK

    Thank you! RT @AndreaShufflebo well done @ActionAidUK on the front page of Metro: 98 of #FTSE100 addicted to #taxhavens http://t.co/HlRgDDRe

  29. mBloging Tester

    RT @spsot RT @leftfootfwd: Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens http://t.co/7eiQ3QwS < Corporate Welfare Bums

  30. nick buffet

    Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens … http://t.co/9S67z8Vs

  31. Leon Wolfson

    @2 – Fine, then if they want to do business in this country they should lust have to pay, oh, the estimated difference which they’re scamming this country out of then.

    Estimate high, and force them to release real figures.
    Because this country has a responsibility to it’s people, too.

    Anon EMouse – What’s wrong? Left wingers. Who actually hold beliefs which are not your xenophobic bigotry. That’s what’s “wrong”. Also, we can count, and see that the guardian is WAY down the list.

    And you support the party who wanted to shovel more into the mouths of the “bankers, city slickers and spivs”. Indeed, you still are. Can’t have a balanced economy, gotta help your rich friends. You’re a hypocrite, of course.

  32. Anon E Mouse

    Leon Wolfson – Nice to see you back – I’d almost missed your incoherent inconsistent ramblings.

    Since when was Polly Toynbee NOT a Left Winger?

    Since when was The Guardian NOT a Left Wing newspaper?

    Since when did Labour not reward bankers, city slickers and spivs like no other government in history?

    Do you really not get my point or are you still a big New Labour man who has nothing to say except to be abusive and make things up in blogs?

  33. Guy Manchester

    Only 98?: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens: http://t.co/IaTqBdrV

  34. Still Blue...

    Only 98?: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens: http://t.co/IaTqBdrV

  35. Paul Hilder

    98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens http://t.co/mNAqcHEs

  36. john peter ingamells

    RT @leftfootfwd: Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens http://t.co/Rt2cHyBk

  37. London IWW

    #Capitalism: Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens http://t.co/TrzDKwct | #TaxAvoidance #Corporatocracy

  38. Knut Cayce

    RT @leftfootfwd: Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens http://t.co/pX8JDLEP

  39. Look Left – Cameron bids Fox ‘thank you and goodbye’ | Left Foot Forward

    […] Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens – Asha Tharoor, ActionAid Share | Permalink | Leave a comment Comments > […]

  40. Taking on the tax havens | Left Foot Forward

    […] Tuesday, ActionAid exposed that 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are using tax havens, where they locate almost 40% of their overseas […]

  41. Dennis

    #Occupy 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens http://t.co/wDLKcMz1

  42. Jinjirrie

    Filth – end offshore banking business RT @brit_newsman: #Occupy 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens http://t.co/NnhdexHA

  43. ajit8

    Filth – end offshore banking business RT @brit_newsman: #Occupy 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens http://t.co/NnhdexHA

  44. Garry Howes

    #Occupy 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens http://t.co/wDLKcMz1

  45. Protesters demand resignation of HMRC boss for colluding with tax avoiders | Left Foot Forward

    […] also: • Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens – Asha Tharoor, October 11th […]

  46. All in it together, eh Gideon? FTSE fat cats see pay rocket 50 per cent | Left Foot Forward

    […] Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens – Asha Tharoor, October 11th […]

  47. French leaders attack Cameron’s “red carpet” invite to tax exiles as Carr gets owned | Left Foot Forward

    […] Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens 11 Oct […]

  48. So, Mr Cameron, are Tory boys Philip Green and Gary Barlow “morally wrong” as well? | Left Foot Forward

    […] Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havens 11 Oct […]

  49. Why are the government making it easier for UK multinationals to dodge their tax bills? | Left Foot Forward

    […] year, ActionAid showed that 98 of the FTSE 100 were using tax havens, where they locate 38% of all their overseas subsidiaries.  82 of the FTSE […]

Leave a Reply