Tax strategy for Ikano Bank AB (publ) UK Branch

Introduction

The Ikano Bank AB (publ) UK Branch (hereafter “the Bank”) offers simple and fair banking and financing to the many people. Our offer to consumers includes, retail finance through point of sale loans and revolving credit Storecards, Direct to consumer loans and personal savings accounts. The UK Branch also provides customer insight services to retail partners.

This tax strategy applies from the date of publication until it is superseded.

The Bank strives to keep tax risk at a low level. The level of acceptable tax risk is assessed on an individual case basis, based on the relevant specific facts, circumstances and our conservative tax risk approach. The Bank has processes in place to identify risks, and a framework exists by which to manage and control such risks.

The Bank pays all taxes due, including corporate income tax, VAT and employer’s liabilities.

The Tax Strategy of the Bank informs you about the objectives set out by the Board of Directors with respect to tax, having regard to the conservative tax risk approach of the organisation, and it further defines accountabilities of the business in relation to tax.

In particular, the Bank will:

  • Comply with all relevant laws and disclosure obligations;
  • Deal transparently, professionally and appropriately with all tax authorities;
  • Only consider tax opportunities in the context of wider business activities having a commercial, economic basis;
  • Maintain accounting systems and controls sufficient to support tax compliance obligations;

Strategic tax objectives

The strategic tax objectives are:

  • To maximize long term shareholder value in relation to the tax impacts of the Bank’s business activities at a level of risk consistent with all applicable rules, the Bank’s reputation and the Banking Code of Conduct.
  • To provide robust and transparent tax disclosures for financial reporting.
  • To anticipate, manage and if appropriate communicate material tax risks, whether resulting from changes in tax legislation, the economic environment in which the Bank operates or other intrinsic factors.

Approach to tax risk management and governance

Tax risk can arise from unclear laws and regulations as well as differences in interpretation. This document defines the Bank’s tax risks and sets out the controls to mitigate them.

The Senior Tax Manager reports to the Chief Financial Officer, a member of the Bank’s executive Leadership Team and reporting to the Board of Directors, thereby ensuring appropriate Board accountability and oversight of all tax matters. Any relevant breaches of policy would be escalated to the Chief Financial Officer.

The Bank has an in-house tax department, staffed by a qualified, experienced tax professional, which undertakes the great majority of tax activities together with accounting staff. However, the Bank recognises that tax is an increasingly complex area and it may, on occasion, be appropriate to seek external views. Tax considerations or structuring advice may be sought in the context of complex transactions, principally to provide challenge to technical interpretation and ensure compliance with relevant statute and to ensure that business decisions are undertaken in the full knowledge of current and likely interpretations of legislation and guidance.

Tax processes are subject to the same level of robust internal controls, assurance processes and external audit as the rest of our business. Performance is monitored via quarterly reporting to the Chief Financial Officer.

More details on the Bank’s governance arrangements are given in the Annual Report and Accounts, available at http://www.ikanobank.se.

Attitude towards tax planning

Ikano Bank is a signatory to the Banking Code of Conduct and meets all of the requirements as set out under the Banking code. The Bank will only consider tax opportunities in the context of wider business activities having a commercial, economic basis. 

We apply the OECD Guidelines, UK and other national legislation to our inter-company transactions. Transfer pricing is not a tax planning tool.

Level of risk

The Bank has a conservative approach for tax risk. It does not participate in aggressive planning or complex structured arrangements designed to minimize its tax liabilities. 

Approach towards dealings with HMRC

The Bank deals transparently, professionally and appropriately with HMRC as appropriate.

When required, dialogue ensures progress on open matters; there are no material open tax matters outstanding.

The Bank pro-actively requests guidance on potentially contentious matters with HMRC. Tax clearances are sought to provide certainty where there is more than one possible interpretation of law and the matter is material by nature or by size.

This policy was last updated on 13/12/17