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Blog Post

Take II: Hansuke’s 2020 Financial Services Tax Conference


he FS Tax event of the year. There’s none quite like it.

Bigger and bolder, in only its second year, Hansuke’s Financial Services Tax Conference (FSTC) in cooperation with WTS Global, took place in November 2020 and welcomed 695+ attendees.

Under COVID-19 restrictions, red lists, international lockdowns and closed borders, our diffused workforce across the globe worked tirelessly across time zones, to ensure the continuity of a new tradition, still in its formative years, yet with unprecedented reach and global impact.

6 back-to-back sessions, 32 expert speakers, over 1200 registrations and nearly 700 participants.

Hansuke’s annual FS Tax Conference (FSTC) brings together leading practitioners, policy makers and academics in the field of FS taxes, where we address the most topical and emergent issues facing society and the individual today.

The 2020 conference was a resounding success, where we hosted delegates from notable organisations including J.P. Morgan, BlackRock, Schroders, Société Générale, Barclays, as well as leading private equity and hedge funds. Our carefully curated event programme offered a broad set of expert speakers, hailing from all over the globe, representing leading organisations including HM Treasury, HMRC, IBM, LexisNexis, European Banking Federation, Bloomberg, Tax Justice Network, Canada Revenue Agency and more.


Tax Transparency

Philippe Sebagh (Société Générale) kicked off a series of lightning talks by exploring the links between US Qualified Intermediary (QI) and FATCA regimes and the compliance aspects of FATCA Expanded Affiliated Groups (EAG).

Katja Pussila (Finnish Tax Administration) then outlined 'TRACE' and the standardisation of withholding tax relief procedures from Finnish, OECD and EU perspectives. Consequently, António Frade Correia (EFAMA) highlighted the need for increased monitoring, referencing the BEPS agenda and the role of ESG in this forum, and the growing demand for funds to be able to access treaty relief.

Rounding off the session, Alex Cobham (CEO, Tax Justice Network) offered a forward-looking perspective, drawing from his 'ABCs' of tax transparency.

Check out the full recording of this thought-provoking session, on demand here.

Efficiency and cost savings are crucial to global tax transparency success, report ITR in their coverage of this session. Peruse the article here.

The Future of Work: A New Social Contract

Moderated by Katie Abbott (Business for Social Responsibility), a keen advocate for the urgency of a new social contract, the panel explored the unique role of corporations in the context of a new 'social contract'.

Allen White (Tellus Institute; GRI), author of ‘The Missing Third Party: Corporations and the New Social Contract’, dived deep into the wealth-power circularity within contemporary society. Alexandra Mousavizadeh (Tortoise Media) discussed the varying use of indices in measuring corporate efforts and holding corporations to account. Mathew Lawrence, Director at Common Wealth, addressed the renewal of the social contract, with the shift towards a more democratic and inclusive stakeholder model.

Stephen Brammer, Dean of the School of Management at University of Bath, discussed firm-stakeholder relations, and relevant reputational and performance consequences amidst COVID uncertainty.

It’s not just Mathew Lawrence who believes in democratising access. We’ve got your back with the full recording of this session available on demand here.

Tax Integrity

Addressing the emergent discipline of tax integrity within financial institutions, Jennifer Haslett (FATF head at HM Treasury) in her keynote address, discussed practical steps for firms to effectively engender cultures of integrity.

From the critical role that financial institutions play as gatekeepers, to calls for a better demarcation between tax evasion and avoidance, our expert panel, comprising Sandra Martinho Fernandes (EBRD), Roger Kaiser (European Banking Federation) and Hansuke’s own Ali Kazimi and Gavin Helmer, explored practical and implementable frameworks for ensuring tax probity.

Ready for your viewing consumption, the full recording is available to watch here.


Tax Fraud

Tackling the contentious topic of tax fraud as it appears in the headlines, this session brought together the trilateral perspectives of individuals hailing from think tanks, investigative journalism and governmental tax authorities.

J5 Directors Simon York (HMRC) and Eric Ferron (Canadian Revenue Authority) outlined their respective criminal investigations strategies, including efforts to crack down on tax fraud by charging crime enablers. …

Reflecting on the controversial FinCEN Files leaks, Michael Sallah (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) offered his valuable insights on the consortium's efforts to uncover money laundering activity by bulge-bracket banks. Donal Griffin (Bloomberg News) spoke on the widespread practice of Cum-Ex trading in the financial industry, whilst George Turner (TaxWatch) closed the session by outlining the design and promotion of tax avoidance schemes.

When is tax avoidance tax fraud? Read George Turner’s blog on his ‘Remarks to the FS Tax Conference 2020’ here.

Plus: Access the full recording, available on demand here.

The Future of Work: The New Professional

“So, what constitutes a 'New Professional'?” asked MIT Tech Review's journalist and podcaster, Emma Cillekens.

Professors Gwen Griffith-Dickson (The Lokahi Foundation) and Kenneth Gergen (The Taos Institute, New Mexico) asserted philosophies of relational being, offering propositions on ways of thinking and the structural changes needed to support this.

Matthew Taylor (then Chief Executive of the RSA, now Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation) offered a brief reflection on intrinsic motivation and our capacity for reflexivity, which was echoed by Dr Scherto Gill (Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace) who spoke on the broader ramifications of these lines of thinking, as we work within and across increasingly creative and collaborative teams.

Lucky you, the full recording is available on demand here.

Digital Taxation

Helen Whiteman (Chartered Institute of Taxation) led an insightful debate in which Achim Pross (OECD) served as the headliner. He delivered a high-level overview of the contentious blueprints of BEPS Pillars 1 and 2, which Tim McCann (Schroders) responded to, from an investment management perspective.

Richard Collier (OECD) offered clarification on FS exclusions in the context of banking, insurance and funds, whilst Robert Welzel (WTS Global) expressed his concerns on these exclusions as applicable to tech giants, moving towards the FS sector.

Yep, you guessed it. The full recording is available to watch on demand here.

FS sector should follow four areas in digital tax debate; check out ITR’s session coverage here.

Woah, did someone say FSTC21?

FSTC21. The Future of Tax. Pre-register for this year’s conference.
Keep your eyes peeled. Full reveal coming on 15/09/21.

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November 21, 2020

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