Bank of America opens Luxembourg branch in Europe funds push

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by Reuters

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Bank of America opens Luxembourg branch in Europe funds push

(Corrects attribution in seventh paragraph to F&D magazine, not IMF)

LONDON (Reuters) -Bank of America has hired former BNP Paribas banker Benoit Nevouet to be the manager of a newly created Luxembourg branch as the U.S. lender seeks to grow its business in Europe, a senior executive at Bank of America told Reuters.

The opening of a branch in the small but wealthy country will mean Bank of America can help clients such as investment funds with local bank accounts and other services, said Matthew Davies, head of the U.S. lender's global transaction services unit for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Bank of America is first focused on bringing across existing clients which it served from a partner bank in Luxembourg to its new branch, Davies told Reuters.

"We'll then start to add new clients, there is demand for us to bring on around 100 entities per month," he said.

Customers will include large companies, investment funds and other non-bank financial firms, he said.

The U.S. bank is also hiring a dedicated money laundering reporting officer, as well as an initial handful of other support staff in functions such as compliance, risk and legal, to support the Luxembourg branch, Davies said.

In 2019, F&D magazine, an International Monetary Fund publication, listed Luxembourg, a tiny EU state of just 600,000 people, as a world-leading tax haven that attracted as much foreign direct investment as the United States.

Its investment fund industry was in 2021 branded a financial "black box" that helps people launder illicit money and avoid tax, according to an investigation published in February 2021 whose findings were rejected by the EU nation.

Bank of America's transaction services business accounts for some 10% of the lender's overall revenues, helping large multinational corporations with routine but vital products such as making payments and managing their cash.

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