The UK is alone among G20 countries in “actively working to make it harder for the corrupt to hide their cash”, according to a new report from Transparency International.
The report into progress of legislation to end secrecy that aids corruption, found that only the UK scored a ‘very strong’ rating.
This was for introducing framework to end the legal structure that permits anonymous companies, and therefore corruption, as suggested by the G20 last November in Brisbane.
Transparency International managing director Cobus de Swardt said:
Pick any major corruption scandal in recent history – Petrobras, Fifa, Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovych – and you will find a secret company was used to pay a bribe, shift and hide stolen money, or buy luxury real estate in places like London and New York.
It makes no sense that this gaping loophole for the corrupt remains open. What is stopping G20 countries from actively shutting down this vital avenue to corruption, despite promises to do so?
The report identified areas of strength and weakness in the current legal framework that allowed for anonymous companies, that aided corruption, of each G20 member country, and compared it against principles adopted by the G20 in November 2014.
The 10 elements covered were:
The definition of a beneficial owner
Risk assessments relating to legal entities and arrangements
Beneficial ownership information of legal entities
Access to beneficial ownership information of legal entities
Beneficial ownership information of trusts
Access to beneficial ownership information of trusts
Roles and responsibilities of financial institutions and businesses and professions
Domestic and international cooperation
Beneficial ownership information and tax evasion
Bearer shares and nominees
Countries were given ratings for each element,and then worked into an overall average score for the country’s framework.
To browse the full results, see the interactive map below: