Monaco is to be removed from an OECD "grey list" when it signs a fresh round of international tax agreements on Monday, the Telegraph reported.
As Oxfam, a French NGO, commented, this perspective sounds like a farce. Offam has the same reserves as the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information.
Tax agreement were signed with jurisdictions that are said to be havens : Andorra, Austria, the Bahamas, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Qatar, Samoa, San Marino, Saint Kitts.
I am looking forward to reading the OECD press release that should look like the following (adapted from the PR for Luxembourg) :
The Progress Report initially published by the OECD Secretariat on 2 April 2009 in conjunction with the G20 has been updated, and Monaco moves into the category of “Jurisdictions that have substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard.”
Having withdrawn its reservation to the OECD standard on exchange of information in March 2009, Monaco has shown rapid progress in updating its treaty network. Further negotiations are under way to update the exchange of information provisions in Monaco’s bilateral treaties.
Welcoming the recent signings, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said: “I commend Monaco for its swift implementation of the OECD standards on exchange of information. In a couple of months, Monaco has turned into reality its commitment to fully cooperate in tax matters. I would like to congratulate Frank Biancheri for his leadership in this process”.
Monaco is thus contributing to strengthen the very important process of transparency around the world, where dozens of other agreements are being signed by different jurisdictions.
Mr. Gurría added that the Monaco government had informed him me that in line with the spirit and purpose of this collective effort they intend to continue the process of negotiating agreements which meet the OECD standard.
Angel Gurria is happy, the OECD is happy, governments in these jurisdictions are happy, bankers are happy....
I must be a fault finder...
The AFP has reported that Monaco has adopted a new law on money-laundering as part of a drive to clean up its financial sector in line with international standards.
Under the new rules, insurers, accountants, notarial firms, high-end traders and lawyers helping with property or financial transactions will all be asked to carry out checks on their clients.
The law also introduces a new 30,000-euro (47,000-dollar) cap on cash payments, and boosts the powers of the FIU.
I will comment later the possible traps in this legislation.