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Global Economy

Prosecutors are demanding 190 million euros back

In connection with cum-ex transactions, the Bonn public prosecutor's office has sent payment requests totaling around 190 million euros to the Hamburg Warburg Bank and a British stock trader. Around EUR 176.6 million of this is attributable to the private bank. Justice spokesman Sebastian Buß said it was the implementation of the first final judgment of the Bonn Regional Court in the Cum-Ex affair.

However, a spokesman for Warburg Bank said: "With the repayments made by Warburg to the tax office in Hamburg (in the tax proceedings), the taxes set by the tax office for the years 2007 to 2011 due to the so-called cum-ex share transactions of the Warburg Bank have been fully settled ." The public prosecutor's office in Bonn has therefore now suspended enforcement in the course of the confiscation proceedings.

In the judgment confirmed by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in July 2021, the bank was obliged to repay more than 176 million euros to the state treasury, and the stock trader to pay 14 million euros, of which he had already deposited three million. The Warburg Bank had already failed in April with a constitutional complaint against the confiscation of the money before the Federal Constitutional Court.

billions in damage to the state

In cum-ex deals, investors used a loophole in the law to cheat the German state out of money for years. Around the dividend record date, several participants pushed shares with ("cum") and without ("ex") dividend rights back and forth. As a result, tax offices reimbursed capital gains taxes that had not been paid at all.

The state suffered billions in damage. In 2012 the tax loophole was closed. Several public prosecutors and courts nationwide have been investigating for years to clear up one of the biggest tax scandals in post-war German history. Last year, the Federal Court of Justice ruled that cum-ex deals were a criminal offence.

Committee of Inquiry in Hamburg

The affair surrounding the Warburg Bank's cum-ex deals also has a political component. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) was the first mayor of Hamburg between 2011 and 2018. In 2016, the tax authorities there waived the institute's repayment of 47 million euros in connection with the tax practice. An investigative committee of the Hamburg Parliament has been trying to clarify the background to these events in the Hanseatic city since 2020.

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