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Dissecting the Cayman Islands Offshore Financial Centre: small place, big money

November 7, 2016   Blog, Secrecy, Tax Havens, Tax Havens

We welcome this latest research on the under-researched Cayman Islands, an Offshore Financial Centre (OFC) ‘with foreign assets amounting to over 1500 times Cayman’s domestic economy.’ As we so often explain, while Switzerland currently tops our Financial Secrecy Index, if the UK and its Crown Dependencies and Overseas territories were all rolled into one and assessed together, the UK would in fact be number one in terms of the world’s most significant offenders. And the Cayman Islands is a prolific contributor to that dubious pedigree. We rank the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands as number five in our 2015 Financial Secrecy Index, which combines a secrecy score with a global scale weight in financial services exports.

Now we’re pleased to present the following research from Jan Fichtner at CORPNET which “uncovers, investigates and aims to understand global networks of corporate control in contemporary global capitalism.” It’s funded by the European Research Council and is located at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam. We now hand over to Jan Fichtner:

Press release: Campaign to expose big tobacco’s lobby front may save millions of lives in lower-income countries

Below is a press release published today, 6 November 2016, with a wide range of health and international development organisations. It may mark a turning point in the fight to weaken the influence of Big Tobacco over the tax policies which are critical to save millions of lives in lower-income countries. The focus is on ITIC, a think tank which has claimed association with all manner of international organisations and global companies – while playing an important role for tobacco companies, as the WHO Secretary-General recently highlighted.

Update: covered on 7 November in the Financial Times: Nestlé and the World Bank are among a number of organisations to demand that a controversial lobby group for tobacco companies stops claiming links to them.

Switzerland in the UN hot seat over impact of its tax policies on women’s rights

Switzerland—ranked number one in the Tax Justice Network’s Financial Secrecy Index —faced tough questions from a U.N. human rights body in Geneva this week over the toll that its tax and financial secrecy policies take on women’s rights across the globe. Prompted by a coalition of Swiss and international human rights and tax justice advocates, the UN Committee mandated to oversee compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) grilled Switzerland on how it will ensure that its financial secrecy policies and corporate tax rules are consistent with its commitments to promote gender equality and sustainable development abroad.

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