(CNS Business): Anthony Travers, a former Chairman of the Board of Cayman Finance, took aim at critics of low-tax jurisdictions as he joined documentary film maker, Jaques Perretti, on a panel at the IBC Transcontinental Trust Forum in Geneva last month looking at the media portrayal of the offshore industry. Dismissing those critics as “delusional”, Travers said Perretti’s documentary about Cayman, Britain’s Trillion Pound Island, which aired on the BBC earlier this year, contained “grotesque mischaracterisations” and that the filmmaker was influenced by the Tax Justice Network.
Defending the sector in an edited video, in which Perretti’s contribution and the debate has been edited out and posted on YouTube, Travers said there were “five fallacies” in Perritti’s film and accused him of conflating the right to privacy, which he said was lawful, with banking secrecy, which facilitates tax evasion.
Travers insisted that banking secrecy does not exist in the Cayman Islands. He also said that there was benefit to local people from the offshore sector as it creates jobs and feeds the indirect tax system. He said the third fallacy was the claim that tax havens don’t benefit onshore jurisdictions, as he pointed to the onshore investment from institutions registered offshore.
Claiming confidence that tax was paid on all the money invested in Cayman, as the cash would be spent somewhere onshore at some point, he criticized Perretti for how he presented tax avoidance. He maintained that it was perfectly legal and those who did not like it had to understand it was onshore laws that were the problem, not tax havens.