Global Financial Integrity

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Offshore Interests Not Aligned with Africa’s Development Agenda

Offshore Financial Centres Can Help Curb Illicit Flows by Exchanging Tax Information and Providing Transparent Beneficial Ownership Information

In its recent op-ed, Jersey Finance provides a defence of the offshore financial centre’s legal code and regulatory framework against charges by “pressure groups” of alleged financial improprieties. The author also promotes Jersey’s financial services to current and potential clients that intend to invest in Africa.

However the article’s logic is flawed. It suggests that since Jersey is an international finance centre with allegedly tough anti-money laundering laws to help prevent wrongdoing, other IFCs are also proper places to facilitate investments in the developing world. One need only search “Swiss leaks” or “Lux leaks” to understand more clearly how taxes are dodged, money laundered, and financial secrets kept around the globe. Secret bank accounts, anonymous corporations, fraudulent foundations, nominee trust accounts and other opaque structures are the calling cards of many IFCs and are utilised by any firm or person who wants to move, hide or launder money.

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