Global Coalition Cracking Down on Illicit Financial Flows
June 3rd, 2013
June 3rd, 2013
The Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development is today renamed the Financial Transparency Coalition (FTC).
Formed in early 2009 with the goal of creating greater transparency and accountability in the global financial system in order to curb illicit financial flows (IFFs), the coalition is composed of six coordinating NGOs – Christian Aid, Eurodad, Global Financial Integrity, Global Witness, Tax Justice Network and Transparency International – as well as leading experts and a rapidly growing number of government representatives (on May 22 Belgium became the thirteenth country to join the FTC’s partnership panel).
“When we started working together, the damage caused by illicit financial flows in developing countries was recognised by only a handful of people,” said the FTC’s new manager Ms. Porter McConnell. “Today, thanks in part to the work of our coalition, it is now widely understood that this kind of criminal activity is incredibly harmful to people in developing countries, where for every $1 received in aid about $10 is lost to illicit financial flows.“
“As an international coalition composed of partners bringing a great diversity of expertise, we are able to draw attention to the inter-connections between financial secrecy, corruption, money laundering, and systemic tax abuse. Each of our NGO coordinating members has played an essential role in our push for greater transparency and accountability in the international financial sector. We will now place increasing emphasis on the important work done by our regional advocates based in Africa, India and Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as our network of some 150 allied organizations around the globe in order to make the movement for financial transparency truly global.”
While applauding the tremendous recent developments in automatic disclosure of tax information and transparency measures in the banking sector, the FTC will continue to campaign until these changes are universal – starting with next month’s G8 summit in Northern Ireland. In addition, the FTC will pursue campaigns for updated money laundering legislation that includes public registries of the real (or “beneficial”) owners of companies, and monitor the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting process to ensure that developing countries are included in the deliberations and proposals are based on independent research into possible reforms. We will also campaign internationally for greater transparency in corporate reporting with country-by-country reporting in all sectors.
In addition to working as it has done with the OECD, G8 and G20, the FTC plans to look at what contributions the United Nations and governments not yet actively involved can make to changing the agreements, treaties and laws that facilitate financial crimes. The coalition also welcomes participation from other bodies, including international corporations that understand the value for business of ensuring strong and financially stable markets in the developing world
“Now that these illicit flows have become front page news, and the general public wants more information about how complex financial dealings can serve as a smokescreen for trafficking, tax evasion, and corruption, our coalition is adapting to speak to those audiences,” McConnell continued. “The FTC’s mission is to blow away that smokescreen of financial secrecy and complex loopholes, so that those who would use them to steal from citizens of developing countries are exposed and their harmful activities stopped. Cracking down on IFFs will also benefit citizens of richer countries, who are losing out on much-needed revenue and feeling the pinch of austerity budgets.”
G8 June 17-18 June, 2013: FTC members, including Porter McConnell, will be available to comment on secrecy jurisdictions, beneficial ownership, automatic exchange of financial information and money laundering as related to the G8 agenda..
The FTC’s recommendations are:
Taken together, these reforms would help people in developing countries advance their economies and achieve greater financial stability and independence, as well as strengthening the global financial system.
For further information about the work of the Financial Transparency Coalition or to request interviews, please visit our website www.financialtransparency.org, or contact: