RBC - UK Tax Strategy

Tax risk management and governance

RBC is a diversified financial services group operating in 38 countries globally. We are subject to a wide range of complex tax rules and regulations across our different products, services and geographies. Robust risk management is a core competency at RBC and tax risk management and governance is firmly embedded within our enterprise-wide risk framework and consistent with our prudent approach to risk overall.

Our approach to tax risk and governance, including UK taxation, is the responsibility of RBC’s Group Executive, the CFO, the Senior Vice President, Taxation and the regional Tax Executives and is governed through our Taxation Policy and Risk Management Framework.

The Framework requires both enterprise-wide and business-specific tax policies and procedures to be implemented and establishes key roles and responsibilities. Group Taxation is responsible for the review and approval of policies and setting risk appetite, while business / functional units are responsible for implementation, control and monitoring. Appropriate escalation procedures are established to manage any differences in tax risk appetite between Group Taxation and business / functional units.

Given the evolving external tax environment, we regularly discuss our approach to tax with Audit and Risk Committees at the enterprise and regional levels and continually monitor and update our tax policies and procedures. Where necessary, appropriate advice may be sought from external advisers to support the decision making process.

Responsible tax planning aligned with our vision and values

Our tax strategy, including so far as affecting UK taxation, is designed to ensure transparency and supports our business strategy. Tax risk appetite is low and guided by our corporate vision to be among the world’s most trusted financial institutions. We always act with integrity and in a straightforward, open and honest manner in all tax matters.

We seek to ensure that our businesses are structured in a tax efficient manner in compliance with all tax laws and regulations, taking into account the spirit as well as the letter of tax law. We only undertake tax planning that is aligned with our business strategy and supports genuine commercial activity, with full regard to potential reputational risk. We do not support transactions that lack business purpose or economic substance.

With respect to our clients, we seek to ensure that we only support bona fide client transactions with business purpose and economic substance. Should we become aware of client transactions that are artificial, or aimed at evading their tax obligations, we will not proceed with the transaction.

Open and constructive relationship with HMRC

RBC is committed to building positive long term relationships with HMRC and other tax authorities, based on mutual trust and transparency wherever possible. The breadth and complexity of tax laws and regulations that apply to our businesses means that uncertainties exist and differences of opinion do arise between ourselves and tax authorities. When this occurs we engage in an open and transparent dialogue to ensure a quick assessment and prompt resolution of the issue where possible.

In the UK, RBC has adopted and fully complies with the Code of Practice on Taxation for Banks and aims to maintain its low UK tax risk rating as determined by HMRC’s Business Risk Review process.


This UK Tax strategy applies to all UK tax resident RBC Group entities including branches and they regard its publication as their compliance with the requirements of Finance Act 2016 Schedule 19 for the year ended 31 October 2017.