Jerome Turquey writes a really good blog. He's noted some interesting stuff coming out of Luxembourg follwoing the Liechtenstein debacle. As he notes, Lucien Thiel, the former chairman of the Luxembourg Bankers' Association (ABBL) has been talking to the press. He translates a couple of sentences of this interview from the French, as follows:
Ce n'est pas notre devoir de contr?¥ler si le contribuable a ?©t?© honn?â„¢te: It is not our duty of control if the tax payer was honest
But what, asks Jerome, about AML provisions? The only obvious interpretation of what is said that the bank's do not think it their concern if the money is laundered.
The second sentence is
Il existe toujours un secret bancaire, le Luxembourg n'est pas oblig?© de communiquer les informations de ses clients. : Banking secrecy remains : Luxembourg is not compelled to communicate its clients'data.
What, asks Jerome, does that say about its attitude to international cooperation? In two sentences Jerome reckons that Lucien Thiel explains that Luxembourg actually does not care about the fight against fraud or for international cooperation. But he goes on to say something more significant still:
Everyone is forgetting that there is a proved permissiveness in Luxembourg that weakens the sustainability of the center.
The point to qualify as tax haven a financial center is neither banking secrecy nor attractive tax rules even these are clues.
The critical point is permissiveness because of conflicts of interests not to say corruption: because of this corruption, nobody is willing to tighten up the ship on issues that are hushed up and nobody is willing to eliminate negligent people : This is not responsible because of the small size emphasises dysfunctions.
Thiel's statement is a message for other countries: up yours! Let us make money!
And remember, the international money laundering regulator the FATF enjoys Luxembourg's generous grants.