This week the Tax Justice Network released the results of the 2018 Financial Secrecy Index bringing the real story on global corruption to the world’s attention. We’ve seen some of the usual protests from some in the offshore world but what they cannot get away from, much as they might like to, is that the index is based on objective, verifiable criteria. There are no perceptions here, no opinions. The Financial Secrecy index is a politically neutral ranking, the only one available to aid genuine understanding of global financial secrecy, tax havens or secrecy jurisdictions, and illicit financial flows or capital flight.
It’s a result of over a year of research by a dedicated team using information on the legal, administrative, regulatory, and tax structures of the jurisdictions assessed. The main data sources are official and public reports by the OECD, the associated Global Forum, the FATF and IMF. In addition, specialist tax databases and websites such as by the IBFD, PwC, Lowtax.net and others have been consulted. Surveys have been sent to the Ministries of Finance and the Financial Intelligence Units of all 112 reviewed jurisdictions which included targeted questions about the jurisdiction’s tax and regulatory system.
There are a series of very helpful videos and podcasts to support understanding of the Financial Secrecy Index results. For example, here’s the head of the Tax Justice Network Alex Cobham introducing it:
There are also video tutorials on how to navigate the data, explaining what the new measures introduced are, especially after the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers exposes. Take a look here.
And you can listen to our series of podcasts which look at each of the top ten global worst offenders in the 2018 Financial Secrecy Index here, starting with Switzerland at number one:
And finally, although it’s not in the top ten the United Kingdom gets a special podcast all of its own to explain why one of the world’s worst offenders has gone down to number 23 in the Financial Secrecy Index. All is not what it might seem. As we always make clear, if the UK were to be combined with its satellite havens, it would be number one in the Financial Secrecy Index…