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Global Financial Secrecy Index lists VI at # 16

- report says VI allows company owners to hide to achieve strong secrecy in setting up companies quickly
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) scored 68.65 percent on the Global Financial Secrecy Index. Photo: FSI
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has ranked number 16 on the 2018 Global Financial Secrecy Index (FSI) by the Tax Justice Network (TJN). Photo: FSI
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has ranked number 16 on the 2018 Global Financial Secrecy Index (FSI) by the Tax Justice Network (TJN). Photo: FSI
It was on January 29, 2018 that Mr Julian Willock, a former Permanent Secretary with the Virgin Islands Government and who heads the consulting firm, Advance Marketing and Professional Services, and who often speaks to the regional and international media on the offshore financial sector, had said that while the recent vote in the House of Lords was a small victory for the financial services sector, he had urged stakeholders to 'be aware that the critics of what we do here will come back again through the backdoor trying to push the public disclosure issue, so I urge the premier and others in the sector to remain vigilant.' Photo: VINO/File
It was on January 29, 2018 that Mr Julian Willock, a former Permanent Secretary with the Virgin Islands Government and who heads the consulting firm, Advance Marketing and Professional Services, and who often speaks to the regional and international media on the offshore financial sector, had said that while the recent vote in the House of Lords was a small victory for the financial services sector, he had urged stakeholders to 'be aware that the critics of what we do here will come back again through the backdoor trying to push the public disclosure issue, so I urge the premier and others in the sector to remain vigilant.' Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - On the heels of the United Kingdom (UK) upper chambers, the House of Lords, voting down a proposal on January 24, 2018 for the Virgin Islands (VI) and other Overseas Territories (OTs) to implement a public register that would reveal the names of beneficial owners of financial offshore companies registered in the Territory, the VI has found itself ranked number 16 on the 2018 Financial Secrecy Index (FSI) by the Tax Justice Network (TJN).

The report, which was published on January 30, 2018, stated that the VI has a relatively high secrecy score of 68.65.

The FSI study disclosed that the VI made the list because the territory allows companies to "hide and facilitate all manner of crimes and abuses worldwide."

"The secrecy here comes most importantly from the BVI’s lax, flexible, ask-no-questions, see-no-evil company incorporation regime, which allows owners of companies to hide behind ‘nominees’ to achieve strong secrecy, and to set up companies quickly and at low cost," said the FSI report.

UK blamed for VI secrecy legislation

The United Kingdom (UK) was blasted by the Tax Justice Network for allowing the VI to continue its financial secrecy.

The report said, "The UK ultimately has the power to strike down BVI secrecy legislation, though it chooses not to. The BVI has long been linked to wave after wave of scandals."

Meanwhile, the measure for the VI and other OTs to have a public register which has been pushed by the European Union (EU), along with some in the UK House of Lords (HoL) and the lower House of Commons, who continue to falsely label the VI jurisdiction a “tax haven", was voted down 211 to 201 and was part of a clause to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill introduced by HoL Member Baroness Vivian H. Stern. 

Those Members who supported the OTs argued that the HoL cannot legislate for the OTs just like they cannot do for the Scottish Parliament without proper consultations.

Global tax losses

The Panama Papersl, released in 2016, listed the territory as a 'Tax Haven' due to "nearly quarter of a million companies set up by Mossack Fonseca, according to the report.

It went on to make reference to a research conducted by Gabriel Zucman, French economist which suggested that the VI is responsible for global tax losses of $37.5 billion.

"The BVI has almost no taxes: no effective income tax, no capital gains tax, no inheritance taxes, no gift taxes, sales taxes or even value added taxes. It raises income mainly through payroll taxes, land taxes and various fees. This is a classic ‘tax haven’ pattern of creaming small amounts each time from large numbers of transactions, and relying on locals to pay the bills," explained the report.

The Financial Secrecy Index (FSI) ranks jurisdictions according to their secrecy and the scale of their offshore financial activities while the Tax Justice Network (TJN) analyse and explain the role of tax and the harmful impacts of tax evasion, tax avoidance, tax competition and tax havens.

Interestingly, Julian Willock, a former Permanent Secretary with the VI Government and who heads the consulting firm, Advance Marketing and Professional Services, and who often speaks to the regional and international media on the offshore financial sector, had said on January 29, 2018 that while the recent vote in the House of Lords was a small victory for the financial services sector, he had urged stakeholders to "be aware that the critics of what we do here will come back again through the backdoor trying to push the public disclosure issue, so I urge the premier and others in the sector to remain vigilant.”

View full report at the link below:

https://www.financialsecrecyindex.com/introduction/fsi-2018-results

10 Responses to “Global Financial Secrecy Index lists VI at # 16”

  • nonsense (01/02/2018, 15:44) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply

    Everyone is entitled to PRIVACY! What secrecy are you talking about? We should all post our bank and credit card information on our Facebook and Instagram pages now? What the &%$# is really wrong with people? We have clearly made provisions for law enforcement to access information if they have a valid reason to do so. Who else will require this information? People have a right to protect their wealth and a right to privacy when it comes to their business.

  • foxy (01/02/2018, 15:58) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    They trying to keep us down
  • Whats next (01/02/2018, 16:04) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The USA is number 2 so who cares. I think they need to stop immediately because this thing is over-bearing.
    • Entire Report (03/02/2018, 23:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      https://www.financialsecrecyindex.com/introduction/fsi-2018-results
  • hog city (01/02/2018, 16:43) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply
    Willock is a forward thinker
  • huh (01/02/2018, 22:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Look who is number 2........The big USA
  • upper us (02/02/2018, 09:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    the usa is a big shumuck and double dealing bully anyway. but other peoples' around the world and their
    governments they insist on creating - should not be immitating the usa. that's like impersonating the devil.
    bvi still hasn't dealt with some international banks in its domain who pull this anti privacy crap. and branson
    had obama as guest right after trumps inaugaration and obama is anti banking privacy. why would a billionaire
    want someone against privacy to be his guest? and again why certain banks not touched who demand you
    give up privacy? a lot of crap. no offense to branson, but he's a two timing liar. obama is a communist, not a
    capitalist. why you have him over, he screwed people out of billions.
  • Heretic (02/02/2018, 10:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    We are truly a captured state, as the report says. We’re like the man on a market stall selling stolen goods for criminal organizations, defending himself by pointing out that most of his goods aren’t stolen, and look! other stalls sell stolen goods, too!
    So complete is our reliance on what started out as a criminal facilitation enterprise and remains one, dressed up in sophisticated costume, that almost no one locally shows any ethical concern or opposition to the business of selling secrecy (that’s what makes us attractive and it’s not the same as bank privacy) All critics, they tell us, either don’t know anything about the business, or have an evil communist/racist/antiBVI agenda that is so bad, their criticisms don’t even deserve consideration.
    All that dirty money that has and continues to weave through our clever legal webs, it doesn’t actually hurt anyone, anywhere. People in Guinea or Congo don’t get sick and die because their leaders have siphoned billions into ‘private’ BVI companies instead of building a local clinic. And if they do, we don’t care. Delusion and denial – our best defenses
    We make 60% of govt revenues from the exploitation of legal loopholes that could be closed or crippled at any time. It is one of only two economic pillars we have. That makes us extremely vulnerable.
    So we’re ethically compromised and economically vulnerable. Seen from another angle, we’re playing a dirty, very risky game.
  • just want to know (02/02/2018, 13:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    And what number is the UK, Isles of Man and other countries affiliated with Britain?
  • Josiahsbay (03/02/2018, 00:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    It's not the responsibility of one country to police the citizens of another country, they have to do that for themselves. The rights of a country to sustain itself supperceed the right of another country to collect its taxes. "Just compensation" for lost revenue however might facilitate a deal between the two.



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