LIGFI just sent a press release that demonstrates once more it is a Luxembourg deceptive economic intelligence operation with no intelligence as it ignores facts in a jurisdiction that does not like critics.
A couple of sentences want commenting:
1. If LIGFI is engaged in recruiting members and partners within and outside the global financial sector, it calls for banks, other financial services and service providers to the financial sector to join the association
They are not calling for for academics, NGOs… It is definitely a body for the business in the financial sector, member outside the global financial sector being a frontage of opening.
2. Members will be called upon to financially support the LIGFI association through membership dues and/or grants
The fees are prohibitive and there is a dubious hierarchy by money that is not compatible with the spirit of ethics (See statutes).
The initial fee is fixed at:
- EUR 10,000 for charter members
- EUR 5,000 for public and private institutions
- EUR 2,500 for the financial sector and professional services
- EUR 1,250 for academe
The yearly fee is fixed at:
- EUR 2,000 for charter members
- EUR 1,000 for public and private institutions
- EUR 500 for the financial sector and professional services
- EUR 250 for Academe
Regular members assume the commitment to provide assistance and support to the a.s.b.l. and its activities. Any regular member has the ability to become a charter member. A charter member is a member recognized as committed at the highest level to the a.s.b.l., providing it with increased support and financial assistance (article 8 of the Statutes)
Charter members have eight voting rights each; public and private institutions have four voting rights each; financial sector and professional services have two voting rights each, and academe have one voting right each (article 28 of the Statutes)
3. Founded by private citizens from Europe and The United States
It is not accurate in the statutes, where founders and members of the board of regents are quoted:
- Jacques Santer, Luxembourger, Honorary Minister of State and former Prime Minister of Luxembourg, former President of the European Commission, residing in Luxembourg
- Michel Maquil, Luxembourger, President of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, residing in Luxembourg
- Lucien Thiel, Luxembourger, Member of Parliament of Luxembourg and Honorary Director of the ABBL, residing in Luxembourg
- Patrick Zurstrassen, Belgian, Chairman of the Institut Luxembourgeois des Administrateurs, residing in Luxembourg
- Yves Wagner, Luxembourger, President of the Association des Analystes Financiers et Gestionnaires de Portefeuilles, residing in Luxembourg
- François Schanen, Luxembourger, Manager of the BCEE, residing in Luxembourg
- Gilbert McNeill, Swiss, Professor and Counselor, residing in the USA, residing in Luxembourg
- Luc Henzig, Luxembourger, Senior Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Luxembourg, residing in Luxembourg
- Guy Harles, Luxembourger, Senior Partner of Arendt & Medenach, residing in Luxembourg
- Jed Grant, Irish, Senior Partner of Sandstone S.A, residing in Luxembourg
- René Brülhart, Swiss, Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Principality of Liechtenstein, residing in Liechtenstein.
A private citizen is one who does not possess or exercise any authority or power of court, government, law enforcement, or military.
Lucien Thiel, Luxembourger, Member of Parliament of Luxembourg and Honorary Director of the ABBL, residing in Luxembourg is not a private citizen.
Furthermore founders are quoted with their job title and company. Most of them are acting in the Luxembourg financial sector directly or indirectly. They are acting as stakeholders of the Luxembourg financial sector.
Additionnaly members of the board of regents are definitely not "private citizens".
Jean-Claude Juncker, Honorary Chairman of the Board, is Prime Minister.
Lucien Thiel, Honorary Member, is member of parliament.
A brochure was published by the Luxembourg government in 1999 at a period where Jean-Claude Juncker was already Prime Minister. It states : "In Luxembourg direct contact with Cabinet members is a normal procedure. This produces quick and timely decisions. Avoiding over-regulation and excessive red tape has certainly prompted the emergence of Luxembourg as financial center in the nineteen sixties"
Professionals of the banking sector decide of policies.
Nothing has changed in the perfectible governance.
The day after the pre-announcement for the “Luxembourg Monthly Finance Lunch” a new ALFI brochure: " Your bridge between Europe and China: Luxembourg" was online
This brochures states page 2 : "Shape regulation. An up-to-date, innovative legal and fiscal environment is critical to defend and improve Luxembourg’s competitive position as a centre for the domiciliation, administration and distribution of investment funds. Strong relationships with regulatory authorities, the government and the legislative body enable ALFI to make an effective contribution to decision-making through relevant input for changes to the regulatory framework, implementation of European directives and regulation of new products or services."
The media have reported that Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland yesterday met about banking secrecy.
This meeting was for german-speaking attendees.
Luxembourg was not in the group. The geography is only part of the explanation.
Some would see a sanction for a partner that is not reliable : when Luxembourg, Austria and Switzerland met in March in Luxembourg they agreed to coordinate their policies about banking secrecy.
After the publication of the OECD list, Luxembourg :
- did not care of the agreement to coordinate policies and signed more that the 12 required agreements whereas the culture did not change. It was removed from the "grey list" whereas the culture did not change.
- launched LIGFI for its own ethical promotion even though the new body was in the pipe since December 2008 and is a deceptive economic intelligence initiative without intelligence.
Nine organisations including TJN yesterday sent a letter to the Finance Ministers of G20 countries to call for:
1. Supporting a truly multilateral agreement for automatic exchange of information between jurisdictions, including the disclosure of beneficial ownership of assets and trusts. At the very least, a robust review mechanism must be put in place to evaluate the extent to which developing countries have been able to benefit from progress on information exchange.
2. Supporting an international accounting standard requiring multinational companies to report profits on a country-by-country basis. The OECD is currently investigating this proposal. We urge all G20 members to take an interest in this investigation and to use the St Andrews’ summit to request a formal report from the OECD to the G20.
Both measures aim effectively to combat tax evasion and, therefore, should be incorporated in regional and bilateral investment agreements with developing countries.