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Canada's RBC releasing files linked to 'Panama Papers' firm: reports

A Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) logo is seen on Bay Street in the heart of the financial district in Toronto, January 22, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's biggest bank is handing over to the government names of clients with “relationships or connections” to a Panamanian law firm at the center of a massive leak of offshore financial data, national media reported on Thursday.

The Toronto Star and CBC, citing legal documents filed on Wednesday, reported that the Canada Revenue Agency had sought a court order against the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to compel disclosure and that the bank would not be challenging it.

The bank and the Canada Revenue Agency did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The tax agency's action came about one month after the Star and CBC, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, published their investigations on the law firm, Mossack Fonseca.

Leaks from the Panama-based law firm, dubbed the "Panama Papers," have embarrassed several world leaders and shone a spotlight on the shadowy world of offshore companies. Governments across the world have begun investigating possible financial wrongdoing by the rich and powerful after the leak.

RBC last month said it was reviewing its records after being named in leaked documents and told Reuters that it had controls in place to prevent illegal activities and it would not do business with those who evaded tax.

Canada last month said it was closely watching the cases of citizens found to have set up offshore companies in Panama and elsewhere and would refer cases to prosecutors if necessary.

(Reporting by Ethan Lou in Toronto)