Lies, damned lies and tax haven nonsense
Let's nail this nonsense before it goes any further. The British tax havens do not rely on banking secrecy, because they use a far more secretive mechanism for protecting their tax evading clients. This mechanism is called a trust. Trusts are a British common law entity which extend as far back as the Crusades to Palestine. But they have become the basis of highly abusive practices because they are not registered with any public authority and they are not required to reveal any information on public record. Trusts provide the underpinning for the British tax evasion industry, which is probably the largest in the world when you take account of all the British satellite tax havens on the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories.
Now we recently visited Jersey, decribed by their public relations officer in London as a totally transparent jurisdiction, and during our visit we asked the Jersey Financial Services Commission to show us their register of trusts. They grinned and said there was no such register. So we asked what information is publicly available about trusts in Jersey. There is no information whatsoever on public record, they replied. Why not, we asked. Because, they answered.
Now just in case you haven't twigged the significance of this, trusts, foundations, stiftung and other such legal entities are the underpinnings of the tax evasion industry. We do not oppose the principle of the trust, but we see no reason why those who seek the benefits of using legal instruments sanctioned by society should not accept the responsibility of placing material information about those legal instruments on public record. Failure to do so creates the secrecy space which encourages tax evasion and other forms of economic crime.
Trusts are the basis of Jersey's tax evasion industry. They are totally secretive. It is virtually impossible for any external authority to obtain information about an offshore trust in Jersey unless they already have the smoking gun which reveals their existence. The idea that Jersey and all the other British jurisdictions are transparent is nothing short of a damned lie, and those who propagate such lies should be confronted with the nonsense they spout.
Journalists please note: trusts are even more secretive than bank accounts and trusts are used in virtually all sophisticated tax evasion structures. When a PR person representing a tax haven claims it is transparent, simply ask them to take you straight away to the office of the registrar of trusts - and see how far that gets you.