Analysing Banking Data to Reveal Offshore Strategies
19 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2021
Date Written: September 29, 2021
Automatic exchange of bank account information could reveal more than just the locations and amounts of offshore money holdings. It could also improve beneficial ownership transparency because it can help identify individuals who choose to place their offshore holdings not directly under their name, but rather under the name of an interposed entity, say a company or trust, as a secrecy strategy. If banking data were made available, authorities could better understand the offshore strategies pursued by their residents by analysing the types of entities in which individuals choose to hold their foreign accounts (eg an LLC versus a trust) and the tax havens, or secrecy jurisdictions as we refer to them, in which they choose to set up that LLC or trust. Authorities could then spend more resources investigating and auditing those specific countries and types of entities. A recent leak from an Isle of Man bank shows how this can be done. Confirming what we have been calling for years, the leak demonstrated how the automatic exchange of banking information could start revealing the offshore strategies used by residents of each country, assisting authorities around the world in the quest for financial transparency. This brief includes four proposals to make this happen.
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