Qatar National Bank (Q.P.S.C.) (QNB Group) was established in 1964 and currently provides a growing range of services to Corporate & Institutional clients, as well as a select Personal Banking service to certain private clients, both on a conventional and a Sharia compliant basis in the UK through its London Branch (a UK permanent establishment) which commenced activities in 1976. This strategy applies to all of the operations undertaken by the QNB Group in the UK*.
The QNB Group believes strongly that good corporate governance complements and significantly helps its long-term business success. As a regulated business, as well as being subject to the UK Banking Code of Practice, corporate governance is essential to ensure compliance with applicable regulations.
QNB’s vision to become one of the leading banks in Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia by 2020 is founded on a strategy of sustainable growth. QNB is committed to creating and delivering long-term, sustainable value for our customers, employees, communities and shareholders. Our diverse banking services, capital strength, credit ratings, brand strength and a wide-reaching international footprint provide a firm foundation on which we are able to generate growth and prosperity. The Group is committed to ensuring it pays the right amount of tax and maintains compliance with all applicable tax law.
This UK tax strategy communicates our approach to tax in the UK to all stakeholders and meets the Group’s obligations under paragraph 16(2) of Schedule 19 of the Finance Act 2016.
Tax Risks and Governance
The Board of Directors, based in Doha, have ultimate responsibility for the business and its operations; day-to-day responsibilities are delegated as appropriate and the Head of Finance, based in London, has responsibility for ensuring the Group’s compliance with UK tax law and reports on a regular basis to the Group’s Financial Control Division and ultimately to the Group Chief Financial Officer.
The Group seeks to minimise tax risk as far as practically possible. Where uncertainties exist in the application of tax laws, the Group will seek third party advice in order to clarify the position and to reduce any associated tax risk.
QNB ensure that all employees act with integrity and adhere to QNB values when managing tax affairs.
QNB seek to submit all tax returns and pay all taxes promptly and in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, taking into account both the letter and spirit of the law. Accordingly, the Group’s Financial Control Division monitor the submission of corporate tax returns and obtain assurances of the submissions to ensure that the individual entities comply with the submission requirements.
QNB engages independent professional advisors to assist with ongoing UK tax compliance requirements.
QNB keep abreast of current and future tax obligations through regular review of correspondence with external advisors and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Tax risk management is undertaken in advance of any transactions which may have the potential for tax risk. The Group will engage with professional advisors to ensure all tax risks are appropriately managed prior to executing any transaction. The Group are committed to approaching HMRC for an opinion prior to any transaction, in cases where there is doubt over the transactions compliance with the UK Banking Code of Practice or applicable tax law.
The Group’s approach to tax planning is led by its commercial transactions and QNB does not engage in any contrived or artificial tax planning strategies.
The Group does not undertake transactions that are solely motivated by tax considerations.
QNB maintains a low tax risk appetite and places careful consideration on the tax laws within the jurisdictions in which it operates when making commercial decisions with a view to maximising value on a sustainable basis for its shareholders.
In the UK, the Group bears UK Corporation tax, VAT and employer taxes, and complies with all tax rules and regulations in the UK to safeguard our reputation as a responsible taxpayer. The Goup claims tax reliefs that are properly available to QNB in the normal course of its business activities in the UK.
QNB’s risk profile and appetite are approved by the Board of Directors and Group Management Risk Committee and are cascaded down to every branch, division and segment as relevant, and through regular reporting of risk-based measures, the periodic review of business unit and branch business strategy and related review of credit risk acceptance criteria and operationalised through risk-adjusted performance measures, pricing of transactions and relevant training and guidance.
QNB do not advise clients on taxation matters, moreover where appropriate we advise or require a client to obtain independent professional tax advice. Furthermore, the Group does not promote tax avoidance or aggressive tax planning arrangement to any clients or other parties. The Group continually monitors any changes to tax law and is committed to taking the necessary steps to ensure compliance with any such changes.
Interaction with HMRC
QNB maintains an open and constructive dialogue with HMRC, based on the disclosure of all relevant facts and circumstances.
The Group maintains a regular dialogue with HMRC and provides any required information, to ensure that any potentially contentious matters are disclosed and resolved as promptly as possible.
*Entities covered: Qatar National Bank (Q.P.S.C.) – London Branch, QNB Capital LLC – London Branch, Ansbacher & Co UK Limited and Ansbacher UK Group Limited.