first_img Share Share NewsRegional Tax activists focus on Cayman Islands by: – October 6, 2011 Tweet Sharecenter_img 9 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring! Image via: taxjustice.netLONDON, England — Tax activists set their sights on the Cayman Islands on Wednesday, demanding that Britain bring one of the world’s best known tax havens to account.A financial secrecy index recently published by the Tax Justice Network has named the tiny Caribbean territory as one of the world’s most secretive financial centres.The islands are a British Overseas Territory, with a governor appointed by Britain, which also retains constitutional and governance oversight – a crucial reassurance for foreign investors who have flocked to Cayman, says the Tax Justice Network.But its economic autonomy and absence of income or corporate taxes has made the Cayman Islands the hedge fund capital of the world, with more than 90,000 companies now doing their business through the islands.The study of 72 countries by the Tax Justice Network listed the islands as the second-most secretive jurisdiction after Switzerland.Meanwhile, in a separate report released on Tuesday, the Tax Justice Network accused the Cayman Islands of playing a “key role” in the 2008 global financial crisis.“Cayman’s relaxed funds law served as the bedrock of the hedge fund industry which now sees Cayman as its top domicile. It also saw Cayman attract a very large share of major new sectors in financial engineering such as private equity, debt and bond issues and securitisation,” it said.Barclays Bank admitted earlier this year to using Cayman Islands subsidiaries to slash its tax bill to just 1 percent.Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond told a select committee in February the bank had used at least 181 offshore subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands to reduce its tax burden to just £113 million despite racking up £11.6 billion in annual profits.Tax Justice Network director John Christensen said that the Cayman Islands and others had been busy “patting themselves on the back” about international information-sharing agreements.But the index demonstrated just how shallow those efforts were, he said. Christian Aid and the End Tax Haven Secrecy campaign are preparing for global protests ahead of G20 sessions in Washington.London activists will protest outside Treasury offices on Friday in a bid to make tax havens a key issue at the main G20 event in Cannes in November.Caribbean News Nowlast_img

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