Panasonic is to move its European headquarters from London to Amsterdam in October to avoid potential tax issues linked to Brexit.
Laurent Abadie, chief executive officer of Panasonic Europe, told the Nikkei Asian Review that the company could treat the UK as a tax haven if its lowers corporation tax after Brexit.
Britain has previously said that it will lower the tax on companies in a bid to attract businesses after it leaves the EU.
However, if the UK becomes a tax haven, companies operating there risk being hit with huge back taxes by their home countries.
Moving the regional headquarters to continental Europe will also help Panasonic avoid any barriers to the flow of people and goods, said Abadie.
The company said it has been considering the relocation for more than a year because of various business implications from Brexit.
Of the 20 to 30 people employed at the London office, the 10 to 20 who handle auditing and financial operations will be moved to the Netherlands, with only investor relations staff staying.
Panasonic employs more than 270,000 people across the world, and the group is comprised of 592 companies.
The group makes consumer electronics and home appliances like washing machines and TVs, systems for cars and industrial use, and also creates products for the aviation industry.
The company is alone in moving operations out of the UK because of Brexit. A number of banks have announced plans to move staff to headquarters elsewhere in Europe, and insurance giant Lloyd’s of London has shifted parts of its business to the continent. – Independent