News World Third of EU financial secrecy comes from inside its borders - report

Third of EU financial secrecy comes from inside its borders – report

People or firms in the European Union that wish to keep their financial affairs secret more often find the services they require inside the EU than in one of the tax havens blacklisted by the bloc, the Tax Justice Network (TJN) said on Sunday.

Such services include shell companies and banking secrecy and a third used by individuals or entities inside the EU are sourced from within it, the report said, while just 1 percent stem from places the EU has blacklisted as tax havens.

“It is hard to call the EU’s tax haven blacklist an effective firewall against economic threats when it fails to detect 99 percent of the financial secrecy threatening member states,” said Markus Meinzer, a director at TJN, which uses its research to advocate for changes to the tax system.

A European Commission spokesman said all EU member states comply with the criteria laid out for the blacklist, and are bound by EU legislation that requires them to go further than international standards.

“That is not to say that we claim everything is perfect in the EU,” he continued. “There is always room for improvement, and the commission is busy addressing this through a mix of hard law, soft law and state aid cases.”

Europe is wrestling with the case of Danske Bank which is engulfed in a money laundering scandal over 200 billion euros ($235 billion) in payments, many of which the Danish bank says were suspicious, channelled through its Estonian branch.

Danish, Estonian and British authorities are investigating the Danske Bank case, with Britain’s National Crime Agency examining the role played by UK-registered companies.

The TJN said the single largest source of financial secrecy to the EU was the United States, which supplied 4.7 percent of such services – five times more than all seven countries on the EU’s blacklist combined.

The U.S. Treasury did not immediately have a comment.

Four of the top ten suppliers of financial secrecy to the EU are members of the bloc themselves, with The Netherlands the second largest supplier ahead of Luxembourg, the TJN said.

Germany was sixth on the list, supplying twice as much as Panama, while France was eighth, the research, which is based on the TJN’s own financial secrecy rankings and International Monetary Fund data, said.

Rather than a having a blacklist, the TJN said the EU and its member states should work to secure agreements enabling automatic information sharing with financial secrecy jurisdictions, and impose a tax on those that refuse

Top Stories

Number of Cypriot officials attacked through fake social media accounts on the rise

The number of Cypriot officials coming under attack through fake social media accounts is rising year in year out, according to official data. Specifically, data...

Cyprus’ proposals for EU Recovery and Resilience Facility funds before Commission

Cyprus’ plan of proposals to receive about €968 million of funding from the European Union Recovery and Resilience Facility – Next Generation EU were...

Economic sentiment drops by 5.2 points in January due to covid lockdown

Economic sentiment in Cyprus deteriorated this month with the indicator going down by 5.2 points compared to December 2020 because of the new lockdown...

‘Crazy and evil’: Bill Gates surprised by pandemic conspiracies

Microsoft co-founder turned philanthropist Bill Gates says he has been taken aback by the volume of "crazy" and "evil" conspiracy theories about him spreading...

Police fine 125 citizens, three premises for breach of covid measures

Police reported 125 citizens and 3 managers of establishments all across Cyprus over the past 24 hours for violation of measures aiming to curb...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...