Task Force Blog

Thursday’s Daily News Digest

What will they think of next?

Norfund buy the Code of Conduct

Governments are just not set up to invest in strategic thinking

Investments for development: derailed to tax havens

Tuesday’s Daily News Digest

Honorable Dr. Rafael Espada, Vice President of Guatemala, to Address Participants of Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development Conference

Report: Investments for Development: Derailed to Tax Havens

Asserting the right to tax corporations – like Wolseley

Resources from the 2010 Annual Task Force Conference

Task Force: beneficial ownership

Watch the Conference Live from Bergen!

Settling accounts: what happens after SwissLeaks?

February 18, 2015

A major leak of incriminating HSBC records last week resulted in print and television news coverage around the globe, trended on Twitter for several days and prompted several governments to start long-anticipated investigations. Through its Swiss entity, the British banking juggernaut helped customers from around the world to hide their money for tax evasion or other nefarious purposes without any questions asked. In fact, in several of the ‘scripts’ which accompany the accounts, banking personnel are seen to be very willing to accommodate dubious requests—from allowing cash withdrawals worth millions of dollars to setting up sham legal entities to obscure the ownership of the funds.

The ‘Lagarde list’, as the files have come to be known, has been around for a couple of years and so many have been asking: ‘Why do we only see government action once a group of reporters put the spotlight on this?’ Another frequent question has been whether the bank has really (as it claims) cleaned up its act.

Relatively few commentators have asked: how do we prevent this in the first place?

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