January 2nd, 2014
Given impressive developments in the realm of financial transparency by the G20 in 2013, it would make sense to be optimistic for 2014. But perhaps this year’s G20 host, Australia, has yet to read the memo?
According to a recent study Measuring OECD Responses to Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries, of the eight Financial Action Task Force recommendations related to customer due diligence and record-keeping by banks, Australia actually comes out worst of all OECD member countries, failing to comply with six of eight recommendations - and only partially complying with the other two!
In an opinion piece for the...
November 8th, 2013
This blog originally appeared on European Development Days' website.
Earlier this month, the Financial Transparency Coalition organised the conference ‘Towards Transparency: Making the Global Financial System Work for Development’ in Tanzania. There, African civil society organisations and a coalition of leading international development organisations called on global policymakers to adopt measures to counter the hundreds of billions of euros siphoned out of the continent through money laundering and industrial-scale corporate tax avoidance.
The Africa Progress Panel led by Kofi Annan has estimated in its 2013 report that Africa loses twice as much in illicit financial flows as it receives in international...
November 7th, 2013
This Op-Ed originally appeared in European Voice.
The UK is showing the way forward on financial transparency
Last week, the British prime minister, David Cameron, announced that the UK plans to create a central public register of who ultimately owns and controls companies, or so-called ‘beneficial owners'. This should make it much harder for criminals to hide their identities behind sham UK companies, and for the corrupt to steal billions of dollars from developing countries.
Currently, corporations can be formed worldwide without disclosing who actually owns or controls them. Criminals often exploit this ability to create anonymous companies for the sole purpose...
October 29th, 2013
BRUSSELS - Money launderers, corrupt politicians, tax dodgers and traffickers of all sorts rely on the same things to move their ill-gotten gains. They need legal structures that allow them to hide their identity.
This often happens through anonymous companies whose beneficial ownership is hidden. European leaders have a unique chance to curb these shell companies in the ongoing review of the European Union’s anti-money laundering rules.
To ensure cash or assets are efficiently processed, corrupt officials and politicians require professional bankers, lawyers and accountants willing to help them.