Banking on Failure: Cum-Ex and Why and How Banks Game the System

About the event

The (virtual) launch of a major new book which reveals the very significant role that the exploitation of tax systems has played in the development of modern banking. The book, by Richard Collier, and published by Oxford University Press, is a pathbreaking study that not only identifies the weaknesses of tax systems but identifies how banks gaming these systems has fed the development of financial products and markets.

At this event 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).

About the Book

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 in exploring what this tells us about modern banks and tax systems, as well as about the way banks interact 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 why the nature of tax systems actually facilitates the process. Some possible policy responses to the current position are suggested.

More details on this book can be found on the OUP website.

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. 


richard collier square

How to register

Registration for this event has now closed


If you have any questions about this event, or would like to be added to our mailing list, please contact the events team at

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.