SocGen says abides by tax rules everywhere it operates

A view shows the logo of the French bank Societe Generale in front of the headquarters building at La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie near Paris, France, March 2, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

PARIS (Reuters) - French bank Societe Generale said on Monday it abided by all the rules of the countries in which it operates and was proactive in fighting tax fraud, as it sought to distance itself from a massive data leak exposing possible tax evasion.

Societe Generale is one of several financial institutions named in documents that allegedly show it used the services of law firm Mossack Fonseca in Panama to request establishing offshore companies for clients. The documents emerged in an investigation published on Sunday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

“Societe Generale strictly respects all the regulations of the countries in which the bank is present,” it said in a statement on its website.

“In a context in which national and international regulations are being reinforced, in particular tax regulations, we conduct a proactive policy with regard to the fight against fraud and tax avoidance,” the bank added.

It also said it offered private banking services only in jurisdictions that had signed up to exchange tax information automatically under a global tax transparency push steered by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The bank does not operate in Panama.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas; editing by Susan Thomas