By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.


Deaf-mute politicians and professionals

I explained last week that a country cannot base its growth on banking secrecy, tax evasion and frauds in general.

This is less and less accepted worldwide, German Finance Minister Peer Steinbruck' statement about Liechtenstein but as well Switzerland, Luxembourg or Austria being the last example after American Senators, Transparency International.

A financial center needs credibility and in this context its politicians needs to be clever for the sustainability of the center.

I am afraid this is not the case in Luxembourg where nothing has changed in the business culture as demonstrated by parliamentary questions.

Eight Months months ago to face the American Senators' Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act MP Laurent Mosar asked "What necessary steps are planed to protect the interests of the financial center?" instead of asking the relevant question which is "What is to be done to correct the dysfunctions which definitely harm the reputation of the financial center?"

Last week, we could read in the Press MP Lucien Thiel's interview about Peer Steinbruck' statement. Lucien Thiel is the former chairman of the Luxembourg Bankers' Association (ABBL), the association that explained in the framework of the transposition of the second directive that offences such as forgery, use of forgery, false balance sheet, use of false balance sheet or unauthorised use of corporate property are vague and ambiguous (See ABBL report 2003 page 22 for instance). A couple of sentences of this interview Lucien Thiel that is is French are worth translating :

Ce n'est pas notre devoir de contrôler si le contribuable a été honnête: It is not our duty to control if the tax payer was honest
What about AML provisions? I guess it is not banks’ duty to control if money is laundered.

Il existe toujours un secret bancaire, le Luxembourg n'est pas obligé de communiquer les informations de ses clients. : Banking secrecy remains : Luxembourg is not compelled to communicate its clients'data.
What about international cooperation?

In two sentences Luxcien Thiel explains that Luxembourg actually does not care of the fight against fraud and of the international cooperation.

This feeling is shared by politicians. A member of the opposition last week asked a question that fustigate "German Finance Minister's allegations".

Everyone is forgoting that there is a proved permissiveness in Luxembourg that weakens the sustainability of the center.
The point to qualify as tax haven a financial center is neither banking secrecy nor attractive tax rules even these are clues.

The critical point is permissiveness because of conflicts of interests not to say corruption: because of this corruption, nobody is willing to tighten up the ship on issues that are hushed up and nobody is willing to eliminate negligent people : This is not responsible because of the small size emphasizes dysfunctions.

Mosar, Thiel and Wagner's statements are a message for other countries: up yours! Let us make money! This a collective responsibility.

I guess the FATF enjoys Luxembourg's generous grant.

Read more about the topic : Swiss and Luxembourg tax havens next in firing line

07:45 Posted in Luxembourg | Permalink | Comments (0)

The comments are closed.