Ecuador poised to take historic stand on tax havens

February 21st, 2017


As final votes are tallied, approval of ‘tax haven referendum’ seems imminent 

Alongside national elections, voters in Ecuador went to the polls over the weekend to decide the fate of what became known as the ‘tax haven referendum’, a yes-or-no vote to bar public servants from holding assets in jurisdictions that are designated to be tax havens. A yes vote would make it illegal for public servants to keep money stashed in these jurisdictions. With 92 per cent of votes counted, ‘yes’ has a large lead, with 55 per cent of the vote, making approval of the measure highly likely.

As the final votes are tallied, Porter McConnell, Director of the Financial Transparency Coalition, released the following statement about the referendum:

“Mobilizing the public is a key step in tackling illicit financial flows, and if the current results hold this referendum shows that citizens want to see an end to the abuse of offshore jurisdictions. If Ecuador can harness this increased appetite for transparency by emerging as a global leader, perhaps other countries will be persuaded, too.

Alongside the promising results, Ecuador must push forward on other transparency measures that are directly linked to offshore abuse, from public country by country reporting for multinationals operating within their borders to a public register of beneficial ownership for companies set up in the country. As head of the G77, it’s vital that their leadership doesn’t stop when the last referendum vote is counted, but instead Ecuador uses its national progress to help lead global efforts for fairer rules to tackle illicit financial flows.”



Christian Freymeyer,, +1.410.490.6850

Written by Financial Transparency Coalition

Image used under Creative Commons license / Flickr User Tatiana Travelways

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