Bon couarge

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Fran?ßois Aubert, a grand fromage (big cheese) in French politics and the chair of the OECD Global Forum (peer review group), also has something very interesting to say. Speaking in Les Echos, he said that not enough is being done to tackle the scourge of offshore trusts, adding:

Personally, I am favourable to the propositions made by non-governmental organisations to set up national registers of trusts which are harmonised, exhaustive and current. That's why the second phase of the Forum's work will tackle especially the geographical constructions involving trusts and other opaque arrangements.

We have been highly critical of the OECD, but these are welcome words.

But -- and here comes a big but. We note that if this is his strong personal view, a look at the members of the peer group suggests he will have a fight on his hands. His four vice-chairs are India, Japan, Jersey and Singapore: half of them major secrecy jurisdictions. But that is not all. The peer review group itself consists of 25 jurisdictions and includes the BVI, Caymans, Ireland, Isle of Man, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, St Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Switzerland, the Bahamas, the Netherlands, the UK and the United States - all of them members of our Financial Secrecy Index, and most of them near the top of the list.

So 15 of 25 members of the peer group are secrecy jurisdictions: a full 60 percent. Take a look. We can only wish Mr. Aubert Bon Courage.

NB: reposted from the Tax Justice Network blog, with permission