Links Feb 2
Feb 1 - Reporting on how the proposed revision of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations for combating money laundering and terrorist financing will include tax evasion as a predicate offense for money laundering. This is an exceedingly important development. See here and here for responses by The Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development to FATF Consultation Papers. Hat tip: Markus Meinzer.
Philippines: BIR: Tax evasion a money-laundering crime Business Mirror
Dec 2011 - An article from a few weeks back, but relevant to the story above: "If the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) had its way, tax evasion would be among the “predicate crimes” punishable under the Anti-Money Laundering Act (Amla), alongside kidnapping for ransom, plunder and drug trafficking and others."
What Really Happened To The Oldest Bank in Switzerland? - Wegelin: Death Throes of Swiss Banking Secrecy & Asymmetric Risk to Swiss Banks mig2
Feb 2 - On the fire sale by Swizterland's oldest private banking institution further to investigations by U.S. authorities. Note: "Remarkably, Wegelin bank neither had offices nor employees in the United States. They were 100% Swiss, and violated no Swiss law whatsoever. However, this was not enough to protect them."
Court rules against stolen Swiss data use swissinfo
Feb 1 - "France’s top court has ruled that bank data taken from a Geneva branch of the HSBC bank was illegally obtained and could not be used in a crackdown on tax evaders."
Bank data sharing lands on cabinet agenda swissinfo
Feb 1 - "The Swiss cabinet has discussed a tax dispute with the United States and the handing over of bank data to US justice authorities at its latest meeting ...The spokesman for the cabinet said more information would not be given while discussions were underway, but he added that the government’s goal was to find a conclusive solution to the tax dispute."
Swiss “slow” to return Tunisia assets swissinfo
Feb 2 - "The Geneva lawyer heading attempts to recover Tunisian assets worldwide has said Switzerland is not acting quickly enough to deal with funds frozen in Swiss banks. Switzerland is holding onto SFr60 million ($65 million) belonging to former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and his entourage."
Law firms announces Luxembourg expansion The BVI Beacon
Feb 1 - Interesting to read this view from the offshore industry - "The global recession has caused some major industrialised economies to label offshore financial centres like the Virgin Islands as “tax havens” while ramping up regulatory pressure against the financial services industry. That pressure and a desire to grow has led one offshore law firm with a VI presence to diversify the services it offers, opening an office in Luxembourg ..."