Banking on Failure

banking on failure book cover

Related Information

ISBN: 9780198859673

Publisher:Oxford University Press

Purchase the Book

Banking on Failure is available to purchase in hardcover, or as an ebook, from the OUP shop.

Richard S. Collier


Banks seem all too often involved in cases of misconduct, particularly involving the exploitation of tax systems. Banking on Failure explains why and how banks "game the system", accounting for these misconduct cases and analysing the wider implications for financial markets and tax systems.

Banking on Failure: Cum-Ex and Why and How Banks Game the System explains why banks design and use structured products to exploit tax systems. It describes one of the biggest and most complex cases - the "cum-ex" scandal - in which hundreds of banks and funds from across the globe participated in the raid on the public exchequers of a number of countries, with losses in the tens of billions of euros. The book then draws on the significance of this case study, and what this tells us about modern banks and their interactions with tax systems. Banking on Failure demonstrates why the exploitation of tax systems by banks is an inevitable feature of the financial markets landscape, and suggests possible responses.

  • Includes a detailed description of cum-ex trade - the biggest tax fraud of its type in Europe
  • A never-before-seen explanation of the step-by-step evolution of a complex tax-driven structured financial product
  • Addresses the root causes of why banks are driven to create highly complex structured tax products
  • Contributes to the understanding of banks and their roles in exploiting tax systems

About the Author

Richard Collier is currently Associate Fellow at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. He was previously a Tax Partner with PwC, where he was the global leader of the firm's banking and capital markets tax practice. Richard has written many articles and recently co-authored (with Joe Andrus) a book, Transfer Pricing and the Arm's Length Principle after BEPS. He has recently worked as Senior Tax Advisor at the OECD.  

Watch the book launch

At the book launch author Richard Collier presented the major themes of the book in conversation with Philip Baker QC (Field Court Tax Chambers) and Professor Dr Christoph Spengel (University of Mannheim). The discussion was chaired by Jenny Strasburg (Wall Street Journal). Watch the recording on YouTube.