Island "tax havens" urge focus on US state of Delaware

Two offshore "tax havens" listed in the Panama Papers defended their record on Thursday and said global anti-corruption efforts should also focus on developed nations.

Alan Bell, the chief minister of the Isle of Man, a British Crown Dependency known for its liberal tax rules, told an anti-corruption summit in London that there could be no real progress without more openness from the United States.

The Isle of Man was mentioned some 8,000 times in the documents known as the Panama Papers. Bell contrasted this total with the reported 285,000 companies registered at a single address in the US state of Delaware.

"It was heartening to hear [US Secretary of State] John Kerry this morning, well, we need action not just fine words," Bell said.

Several other participants in the summit questioned the role developed nations, such as the United States, Britain, France and Switzerland, in facilitating corrupt movement of assets from developing countries.

Alden McLaughlin, premier of the Cayman Islands, also defended the record of the British Overseas Territory in increasing financial transparency.

"I believe we have proven our commitment to the global fight against corruption" McLaughlin said.

"For over 20 years we have shown leadership in this fight," he said, citing the Cayman Islands' meeting of OECD and UN standards for anti-bribery anti-corruption..

Some major nations, including G20 members, had not adopted the same standards, McLaughlin said.

"It is time to put behind us shades of hypocrisy," he said. "There is little point in us continuing the rhetoric if we are to allow major countries to stay outside the global standard."

Last update: Thu, 12/05/2016 - 19:09

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