And they call this transparency and information exchange?

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International Adviser web site has reported:

The number of requests for data HMRC made to Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories on possible tax evaders hit a record high last year as the Government cracked down heavily on offshore tax havens.

According to Pinsent Masons, HM Revenue & Customs made 72 requests for financial data to significant offshore tax havens such as the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and Jersey in the last year (ending 31 Dec 2012) regarding personal and business taxes - this is up by 26% on the 57 in 2011 and 32 in 2010.

The law firm says the figures show that HMRC is accelerating its assault on people sheltering money unlawfully from HMRC in the UK Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories

Pinsent Masons director Reg Day, said: “This will send shivers down the spine of those individuals and business with any undisclosed assets in places like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. HMRC is closing the net and will come down heavily on those not paying tax.”

I only hope he said that ironically - because right now there is, according to Jersey, £1.2 trillion of assets in that island alone, of which about 40% originates in the UK, and tax evasion relating to the UK from that one island costs at least £150 million a year - in Jersey's estimate - and yet in total just 72 requests for data were made from all the Crown Dependencies and overseas territories - suggesting maybe 15 at most went to Jersey.

And this, they claim, is transparency and being fully cooperative.

And you wonder why I treat the claim with contempt? Isn't it obvious.

In the meantime, whilst the argument for automatic information exchange has been won at the OECD I wonder how many years it will be before we really get it?