A Hong Kong-based offshore services firm surveyed more than 200 bankers, consultants and lawyers to learn the extent of the damage that ICIJ’s Offshore Leaks investigation had caused to their industry. “The scandal has created a crisis of confidence in the industry,” the respondents said. The solution? More public relations and lobbyists please!
It is so easy to set up a company with hidden ownership in Britain that even a dead man can do it. Global Witness’s new investigative report Grave Secrecy shows the potential for companies in the UK, New Zealand and elsewhere to be used as cover to launder the proceeds of corruption, tax evasion and other crimes. It is based on an investigation into a Central Asian bank at the centre of major money laundering allegations, but the findings are much broader, highlighting the shocking inadequacy of how some of the world’s major economies monitor the registration of companies. Kyrgyzstan’s largest bank, AsiaUniversalBank (AUB), was nationalised and found by the authorities to be insolvent after a revolution overthrew the regime of President Bakiyev in April 2010.
Joahna Alcindor and Cinthia Alcindor are initial directors of shell offshore companies, which were suspected in money-laundering.
Why, in the era of Wall Street hegemony, do close to half of global financial transactions still flow through territories linked to Britain? New Left Project’s Jamie Stern-Weiner spoke to Ronen Palan, Professor of International Political Economy at City University London and co-author of Tax Havens: How Globalisation Really Works, to find out.