US now more secret than Cayman

| 02/11/2015 | 15 Comments

CNS Business(CNS Business): Despite the constant criticism of the Cayman Islands as a so-called tax haven by US politicians and media, in the latest edition of the Financial Secrecy Index, compiled by the Tax Justice Network, the United States is placed above the Cayman Islands in its rankings. The report, which comes out every two years, was published on Monday and places the US at number three, whereas Cayman is ranked fifth in a list topped by Switzerland.

The index includes a country report on over 90 jurisdictions. In the Cayman report the index authors found that while the jurisdiction still has a high secrecy score, it “has improved substantially … based on its decision to embrace some important global transparency initiatives”.

While the report was still highly critical of Cayman, the US has stolen the headlines, having moved up the ranking because its government refused to take part in the information exchange system created by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Instead, the US created the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which obliges banks around the world to provide details about American account holders who try to dodge taxes, even though the United States has its own internal tax havens.

“While the US has pioneered powerful ways to defend itself against foreign tax havens, it has not seriously addressed its own role in attracting illicit financial flows and supporting tax evasion,” TJN said in the report. “Washington’s independent-minded approach risks tearing a giant hole in international efforts to crack down on tax evasion, money laundering and financial crime.”

The authors of the report said that by identifying the most important providers of international financial secrecy, the index reveals that traditional stereotypes of tax havens are misconceived.

“The world’s most important providers of financial secrecy harbouring looted assets are mostly not small, palm-fringed islands as many suppose, but some of the world’s biggest and wealthiest countries,” they stated.

See full details of the report and rankings here

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Category: Finance, Financial Services, US, World Business

Comments (15)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I tell people the if you cant read or write then its very easy to obey secrecy rules

  2. Anonymous says:

    Before putting too much weight on this article be sure to review the team that came up with and are applying the scale. Not sure we have good representation from relevant countries on this “team”. Seems far from an impartial study to me.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is not news. US, particularly Delaware and UK, particularly City of London, faded in comparison to Cayman in an investigation conducted and reported by STEP back in… was it around 2007/2008?

    Its usually the case that those guilty of things prefer to deflect blame on others. Reminds me of many political scenarios here in Cayman come to think of it!

    • Anonymous says:

      The US actally prosecutes money laundering and tax evasion. Cayman just passes laws and takes the rest of the day off.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes but we are not speaking of prosecutions here – we are talking of the high standards of due diligence, compliance and transparency and the fact that when it comes to these essential requirements, Cayman came out on top.

        Wha’ happen the truth hurt you or something?

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually…..didn’t the Manhattan DA recently tell Congress that the main reason they have the opportunity to prosecute their own tax cheats or money launderers is that the Cayman Islands assist them much more effectively than their own enforcement folks? Yes indeed. Rarely is such honest assessment made.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hilarious! I will be copying in every yank I work with and pretty much everyone else too!! Is it not about time that Cayman took some of the U.S. tv series to court for defamation? I heard references 3 times to Cayman last week in negative “money laundering” kind of quips…we never seem to stand up to it!

    • Anonymous says:

      I cheer when we get name-dropped. (Even as ‘the Caymans’, shudder.) There is no bad advertising. But I also don’t work in banking so I may have an overly simple view of advertising.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good luck with that. The Tax Justice Network has no clout in New York or Washington (or London for that matter.) Neither does Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        We don’t even try to defend ourselves. And we do pretty well. Bermuda does and gets itself off lists pretty damn quick

  5. Anonymous says:

    Barak Hussein Obama, you hypocrite and enemy of my country, the Cayman Islands; Take note of your OWN country’s practices!

    • Anonymous says:

      You sound like a real expert.

    • Anonymous says:

      All I can say is thank God BHO is a complete hypocrite in this area. People deserve privacy. As has almost always been the case, for non-US Persons, the US continues to be a highly private jurisdiction.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I read this article with interest, and followed the links to the assessment of the Cayman Islands, where I encountered the following text:

    “Yet despite these improvements, many things
    have not changed. When David Legge, publisher
    of the Cayman Compass, criticised widespread
    Cayman-based corruption in the wake of the
    giant (again Cayman-related) FIFA scandal,
    Premier Alden McLaughlin described it as
    ‘treasonous’ and Legge fled the country in June
    2015, saying he feared for his safety.”

    True and unfortunate; but anyone interested in “truth” versus sensational “true” should know that Legge was back within a few days, swanning around in an open convertible, and has since kissed and made up with the Government as reported in the Compass last week. If the man is paranoid, or a drama queen, or both, how do his actions and statements add to the “legitimacy” of this article? I suggest the opposite, selective and sensational journalism. The author of this article has already made up their mind that Cayman is guilty, they just haven’t nailed down exactly what it is we have done!


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