LONDON – Responding to the Chancellor’s Budget today, Christian Aid Director Loretta Minghella said:
‘Today, a 40 year-old promise to the world’s poorest was finally delivered. We congratulate the Government for ensuring that – even in challenging economic times – this country has done the right thing by the hundreds of millions of women and men around the world living in poverty.
LONDON – A new investigation by Global Witness today reveals the systemic corruption and illegality at the heart of government in Sarawak, Malaysia’s largest state. A film, shot undercover during the investigation, reveals for the first time the instruments used by members of the ruling Taib family and its local lawyers to skirt Malaysia’s laws and taxes, creaming off huge profits at the expense of indigenous people and hiding their dirty money in Singapore.
WASHINGTON, DC – In the wake of recent money laundering compliance failures at major U.S. and international banks, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs is currently scheduled to hold a hearing Thursday, March 7, 2013 entitled, “Patterns of Abuse: Assessing Bank Secrecy Act Compliance and Enforcement.” Heather Lowe, Legal Counsel and Director of Government Affairs at Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization, issued the following statement in advance of the hearing.
LONDON / WASHINGTON DC – The British bank, HSBC, made a $20.6bn profit in 2012 and paid its CEO a $3m bonus, it was announced today. This is in spite of the fact that HSBC was fined a record $1.9bn for doing business with Mexican drug lords, terrorist financers and pariah states.
LONDON – A ComRes survey about public perceptions around tax avoidance, commissioned by Christian Aid, found a third (34 per cent) of Britons say that they are currently boycotting the products or services of a company because it does not pay its fair share of tax in the UK. Almost half (45 per cent) say they are considering a boycott.
WASHINGTON, DC – Global Financial Integrity (GFI) praised European Union leaders today for their commitment to requiring banks to disclose profits-made, taxes-paid, subsidiaries, and staff levels on a country-by-country basis, and the Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization called upon the United States to follow Europe’s lead and adopt similar rules.
LONDON – European Parliament moves to force banks to reveal more about their finances are a huge step towards getting companies to pay their taxes – although the new rules should be extended to other industries, Christian Aid says today.
WASHINGTON, DC – According to media reports, the Governor of the Central Bank of Russia stated Wednesday that roughly $50 billion was illegally siphoned out of Russia in 2012, echoing research published last week by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization, which estimated that an annual average of $62 billion was illicitly smuggled out of Russia in recent years.
LONDON – The Observer alleged today that one of the key companies involved in the horsemeat scandal was set up such that it hid the names of the people who own and control it. “This illustrates why hidden company ownership is such a problem,” said Rosie Sharpe, campaigner at Global Witness. “Criminals – whether they be fraudsters passing horsemeat off as beef, arms dealers fuelling wars, or corrupt dictators nicking their country’s wealth – need to hide their identities, and at the moment it’s all too easy to do this by setting up a company.”
WASHINGTON, DC – The Russian economy hemorrhaged US$211.5 billion in illicit financial outflows from 1994—the earliest year for which data is available following the dissolution of the Soviet Union—through 2011, according to a new report released Wednesday by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization. The study, titled “Russia: Illicit Financial Flows and the Role of the Underground Economy,” also measures massive illicit inflows to the Russian economy of $552.9 billion over the 18-year time-span, raising serious questions about the economic and political stability of the nation currently chairing the G20.
WASHINGTON, DC – A 10-article exposé accompanied by a cover-page editorial in this week’s edition of The Economist highlights the damaging role of anonymous shell companies, banking secrecy, and lax money laundering regulations and enforcement in places like the United States, Great Britain, and offshore tax havens. The influential British magazine—which hits newsstands tomorrow—calls on developed western economies like the United States, Great Britain, and Europe to “focus… on cleaning up their own back yards and reforming their tax systems.”
WASHINGTON DC – In the midst of a Congressional and White House showdown over the impending sequestration, and growing calls for corporate tax reform, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) put forth the Cut Unjustified Tax Loopholes Act (S. 268, CUT Loopholes Act). This bill, which closes loopholes and strengthens enforcement measures against offshore tax haven abuse, could raise nearly $200 billion over ten years.