November 2, 2011
Clark Gascoigne, +1 202 293 0740 ext. 222
Over 40,000 People Call on G20 Leaders to Tackle Tax Haven Secrecy, Illicit Financial Flows
CANNES / WASHINGTON – Global Financial Integrity (GFI) today joined over 40,000 people from around the world calling on G20 leaders to end tax haven secrecy when they meet this week in Cannes, France.
The 40,000+ signatures were collected by the End Tax Haven Secrecy campaign, which today handed over a letter urging French President Nicholas Sarkozy—the current G20 chair—to tackle the issue, which costs developing countries roughly $1.25 trillion a year—ten times more than they receive in foreign aid annually.
“G20 leaders have it in their power to significantly curtail these massive flows of money out of the developing world,” said GFI Director Raymond W. Baker. “Secrecy jurisdictions provide a safe haven for the ill gotten gains of kleptocrats, criminals and tax evaders. It is time the world’s largest and most powerful economies make a concerted effort to tackle this problem.”
The End Tax Haven Secrecy campaign is a global coalition involving 56 organizations (including GFI) in more than 20 countries, whose aim is to end tax haven secrecy and its deeply corrosive effects around the world.
The coalition is calling on the G20 to prioritize the implementation of the following concrete policy measures:
- Country-by-country reporting – ensuring there is nothing to hide wherever companies do real business;
- Registers of beneficial ownership – ensuring zero tolerance for shadow companies and secrecy vehicles; and
- Automatic Exchange of Tax Information – ensuring economic and financial crime isn’t swept under the carpet.
Global Financial Integrity (GFI) is a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization which promotes transparency in the international financial system.
For additional information please visit www.gfintegrity.org.