September 17, 2009
Monique Perry Danziger, +1 202 293 0740 ext. 222
WASHINGTON, DC – Following the conclusion of a two day conference titled “Increasing Transparency in Global Finance: A Development Imperative,” the Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development issued the following statement to the members of the G20:
Today the Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development concluded a two-day conference which provided an opportunity to examine in-depth the linkage between global illicit financial flows and their adverse impact on development.
The massive flow of illicit money out of developing nations, estimated at some $1 trillion per year, outpaces current levels of foreign aid by a ratio of nearly 10 to 1. Consisting of tax evasion, tax avoidance, and criminal and corrupt funds, this phenomenon is the most damaging economic condition hurting the global poor.
Therefore, the Task Force calls on the G20 nations to recognize publicly that the flow of illicit money out of poor countries, facilitated by the global shadow financial system, cripples the ability of these countries to work their way out of poverty. Recognizing this linkage is a vital first step in creating the conditions to eradicate poverty in developing countries. The second step is taking action to stop these flows.
This, we believe, is a development imperative.
Anthea Lawson from Global Witness presented on the international aspect of how lack of beneficial ownership facilitates corruption in developing countries.
Chip Poncy, Director of the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes at the U.S. Department of the Treasury rounded out the presentations with remarks on how without beneficial ownership knowledge it is impossible for a financial institution to successfully conduct “know your customer” best practices, creating what Mr. Poncy described as a “systemic vulnerability.”
Check back for copies of speakers presentations, video.