Liechtenstein financial sector becoming more transparent

Liechtenstein has made up ground in the Financial Secrecy Index. The Principality’s financial sector ranks in 54th place, well behind those countries that the UK-based Tax Justice Network classifies as the world’s worst tax havens. The USA and Switzerland lead the way in the index. Luxembourg is ranked in 5th place.

Liechtenstein is ranked 54th in the global list of tax havens, which represents an improvement on previous years. The Financial Secrecy Index shows how transparent the financial sectors in various countries are. The index is compiled annually by the Tax Justice Network. The mission of this independent UK organization is to fight financial secrecy, which it believes promotes inequality and corruption in addition to undermining democracy.

The index evaluates, for example, the extent to which harmful financial vehicles are available in the respective countries, how effectively they work to prevent money laundering and whether information about company owners is publicly available. Liechtenstein was awarded a Secrecy Score of 72 points out of a possible 100. The higher the Secrecy Score, the less transparent a country is in comparison with the rest of the world.

In an interview with the newspaper “Liechtensteiner Vaterland”, Simon Tribelhorn, Director of the Liechtenstein Bankers Association (LBA), was certainly pleased with the improved result, but was aware that this still lags behind the reality that has improved in the meantime: “If you take a closer look at the report, this is probably due to a partially outdated database”. On this basis, he reaches the conclusion that the “continuous progress” should be communicated even more clearly to the outside world.

Countries including the USA, Germany, Italy, the UK and Japan have, however, curbed their efforts by more than half, complains Alex Cobham, chief executive at the Tax Justice Network, in his comments in a press release. “The G7 must make clear where they stand in the fight against financial secrecy by committing to a global asset register”, he concludes.

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