More than 300 economists, including Thomas Piketty, are urging world leaders at a London summit this week to recognise that there is no economic benefit to tax havens, demanding that the veil of secrecy that surrounds them be lifted.
British officials are locked in negotiations with the crown dependencies and overseas territories, trying to persuade them to agree to a form of automatic exchange of information on beneficial ownership of companies. So far the overseas territories have only agreed to allow UK law enforcement agencies access to a privately held register of beneficial ownership, but the automatic exchange agreement would give a wider range of countries access to information on the ownership of shell companies.
Many overseas territories including the Cayman Islands are resisting the idea, and their attendance at the summit is in doubt. read more