Monday, June 11, 2012

Links Jun 11

Organisations representing over 1000 civil society groups call on the EU to force companies to reveal their true ownership Task Force Blog
Jun 11 - Download letter here, calling on the European Union to establish a new standard for company ownership transparency.

Latvian bank's role in controversial Ukraine tenders under scrutiny businessneweurope
Jun 11 - A story of corruption, money laundering and shady deals conducted via shell companies and boutique banks.

INSIGHT-Liechtenstein prince faces vote over veto power Reuters
Jun 11 - Very interesting piece on the culture of Liechtenstein, that can be compared in some important ways with other small-nation tax havens. The article notes that political stability is critical for the banking industry.

Obstacles Mar Quest for Arab Dictators’ Assets New York Times
Jun 7 - Important insights on challenges in recovery of stolen assets hidden in the banking system - including, "In some cases, the people who know where the money is held are at risk — not only because they are viewed as criminals in their home countries, but also because they hold secrets to questionable or corrupt deals that implicate companies and governments in the Arab world and the West."

British hesitate between "Rubik" and Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility (LDF) Le Temps (subscription required)
Jun 8 - The piece refers to the desire by many tax evaders, and holders of secret accounts, to preserve their anonymity, which is possible through the Swiss deal "Rubik" - see TJN's analysis.

Hotline counseling for Swiss bankers Spiegel
(In German)
Jun 6 - Within the fallout of U.S. and other jurisdiction efforts to clamp down on tax evasion managed through Swiss banks, a new service has emerged to help guide bankers who are nervous about traveling in case of detention and questioning.

Make tax havens history shifting grounds

Jun 7 - "That culture of secrecy has failed.  Greater transparency is essential and must be applied to all parts of the system – not just individual countries – if markets are to be more efficient in the future." Cites Treasure Islands.

Bangladesh: Govt opts for 'easy tax' The Daily Star
Jun 9 - Debapriya Bhattacharya of the Centre for Policy Dialogue said: "the government had opted for "easy tax", which is flat and can be collected faster. “But it is neither efficient nor sustainable.”"

Scotland: Offshore firm which helped to set up Rangers' tax avoidance scheme is called Deepwater Daily Record
Jun 10 - Another tale of murky offshore dealings that result in financial distress in the world of soccer. "A loan firm who helped to set up Rangers’ notorious tax avoidance scheme were called Deepwater ... The Jersey company administered Employee Benefit Trusts for players, coaching staff and executives...."

UK: Billions lost in tax as 5,000 properties are kept offshore Metro
Jun 7 - On the legal loophole, coming increasingly under fire, that allows for properties owned by offshore companies to avoid tax.


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