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Some offshore financial centres risk losing business amid tax haven scrutiny

Channel NewsAsia has reported that Industry players said some offshore financial centres face the risk of losing business as developed economies increase their scrutiny on jurisdictions perceived as hiding places for money.

James Benoit, CEO, Afrasia Bank, is quoted. "Centres which don't have those natural trading ties and investment flows will find it very difficult to be known as a centre of substance. There's no choice but to be more substantial, adherent to regulations and being more than just a booking centre." , he said.

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18:40 Posted in General | Permalink | Comments (0)


Secrecy jurisdictions: Mapping the Faultlines

The Tax Justice Network yesterday launched a major new project called Mapping the Faultlines. This is the biggest and most elaborate research effort ever undertaken to look at how secrecy operates through global financial markets.

As the project brief explains, the Faultlines Project is based on a central contention: that the mechanisms that facilitate illicit financial flows result from the synergistic relationship between tax havens, or as we prefer to call them, secrecy jurisdictions and its Offshore Financial Centres (OFCs). These were defined at the project outset as follows:

1.       Secrecy jurisdictions are the legislative and regulatory spaces provided by states and microstates that encourage the relocation of economic transactions to that domain;

2.       An OFC is the commercial response to the legislative and regulatory environment of a secrecy jurisdiction by those such as accountants, lawyers and bankers seeking to profit from the opportunities the secrecy jurisdiction provides.

This distinction between jurisdictions and services providers who exploit the regulation they create is important, and is a consistent theme of the project albeit that much of the terminology we have used has changed and developed as this project has progressed. The Mapping the Faultlines project has been undertaken by the Tax Justice Network with funding from the Ford Foundation.



06:26 Posted in General | Permalink | Comments (0)


Tax havens tourist guide

A very interesting analysis of tax havens is available online. Unfortunately its author is not identified.

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I like what is said about Luxembourg: Luxembourg is an attractive place for foreigners to stash excess wealth, as the entire country (said to be among the richest in the world - in per capita terms) seems to have a rather lax attitude toward tax collection. According to one website that profiles tax havens: “although they have taxes, nobody seems to work too hard on collecting them.”

The website is the one of PT Club.

PT Club is one of the oldest privacy providers on the world wide web. They've been around since 1998 helping thousands of satisfied customers obtain true sovereignty and to protect what's left of the privacy in a legitimate manner.

They have profiled Offshore Banking Havens in a very realistic way.


The RTL media empire which developed out of Radio Luxembourg has made entertainment the second largest industry in this rather staid but extremely beautiful principality. Its other claim to fame is that statistically it is the richest country in the world. Although they have taxes, nobody seems to work too hard on collecting them. The largest industry, of course, is finance. Luxembourg's history as a tax haven goes back to its 1929 holding company legislation, but as a founder member of the European Union it is under great pressure on bank secrecy issues and is having to readjust its role to compete with the likes of London and Frankfurt rather than Nassau and Road Town. Nonetheless, for non-EU residents Luxembourg gets our highest recommendation. Everything is super efficient, less snobbish than Switzerland, and personal accounts with internet banking can be opened by ptCLUB through the mail for just $500. In this country banking secrecy is part of the national culture more than anywhere else we know. As a small, rich country it has avoided the socialist problems of Switzerland where some politicians want to abolish bank secrecy. And while the Swiss apply a 35% withholding tax, investments in Luxembourg are tax free for non residents. And where else but in our beloved Luxembourg can you find the biggest banks disguising their plastic cards as guides to global time zones, or providing paper shredders for client use in branches? We recommend you to order a Luxembourg account today by contacting ptCLUB.

The grandmother of all offshore banking havens, this Alpine country has been providing reliable banking services for generations, and is now entering the internet age. Our $99 Swiss Bank Account is excellent value and everybody should have one or two of these fun little accounts. But the services are somewhat restricted so you might like to open full accounts. Offshore company accounts (and indeed almost any other secret banking service you may desire) are still available in Switzerland, but it's all very hush hush and you and the bank have to get to know each other for a while before they make these services available. For this reason we only introduce personal accounts to Swiss banks and after that, it's up to you. Personal accounts can be opened by mail, but the bank (and the Swiss Tourist Office) will feel much happier if you visit them once in a while. Fee is $500. Contact the club to order

As Swiss bankers became more choosy in the early eighties, Austrian bankers took their place and opened secret numbered accounts without ID. They were noted for their discretion and efficiency, and the Austrian "Sparbuch" (bearer savings account) became a world-famous anonymous banking tool. Unfortunately since Austria joined the European Union its secrecy laws have been decimated, but there are still a couple of good banks which provide an excellent service to non-Europeans. We have an excellent contact who is manager of a small private bank there and we are pleased to effect introductions for $300. Opening deposits of around $50,000 are required.
Other Austrian areas of interest are enclaves surrounded by Germany such as Kleinwassertal, but with the introduction of the Euro and the Schengen treaty eliminating borders, they are now little more than romantic hideaways for those who remember movies from the sixties depicting what was then glamorous travel but is now called money laundering. German account holders are attracted to Bregenz, a picturesque border town famous for its opera festivals, and we can obtain securities trading accounts in Bregenz by mail with no ID for a fee of $500 - but you must give details of a German bank account in order to do this. Of course, German bank accounts can be fixed too….

Belgium, the home of the European Union's administration, is a high tax socialist state rife which is the cause of much tax evasion and bureaucratic corruption. It's third city is known as "Sicily of the North". Nonetheless we like Belgium's gritty charm and cosmopolitan attitudes. Banks here are less efficient than in neighboring states but this can be an advantage. We can now offer online bank and/or securities trading in Belgium for $500. A passport copy is required but need not be notarized. Hold mail and debit cards are available.

It is amazing to see that France and Germany are also quoted in this list of "Offshore Banking Havens "



08:01 Posted in General | Permalink | Comments (0)