A lawyer smells the coffee

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Stephen Platt is senior partner of law group Baker Platt.

On BBC Radio Jersey this morning he sounded very worried. He's issued a briefing on the US Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, which Barack Obama is backing. He thinks Obama wants to close Jersey down. And he thinks it very unfair that the Act calls Jersey an offshore secrecy jurisdiction.

Even the BBC Jersey interviewer asked him wasn't that Jersey's own fault since its whole economy was built on attracting tax evaders to its shores?

Platt denied this. He claimed Jersey is not a secrecy jurisdiction as it has no shell banks or bank secrecy legislation.

True, it hasn't. But not a single company on the island has to file any real data regarding its affairs on public record. It has no idea how many trusts use its domain. It has 0% tax on corporate profits. It has sham trusts created for the sole purpose of facilitating international tax fraud. It allows corporate redomiciliation so fraudsters can stay ahead of the law. It allows the use of cell companies that no one has yet worked out how to penetrate. It refuses to exchange information under the EU Savings Tax Directive., It will not even enter into a Tax Information Exchange Agreement with the UK.

The man has seen the writing on the wall and sounded very worried. And there's nothing he can do to stop his trade being taken from him if that's what Obama, Sarkozy and others decide to do. And decide to do it they will, I think.

Time to smell the coffee Mr Platt.