Welcome to the Hiddenwealth Games

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As I watched the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games last night it occurred to me just how many participating states are considered to be tax havens. My timeline became active in the theme and as a result I tweeted this:

Credit to @daniel_nash for renaming the #CommonwealthGames the #HiddenWealth games because of number of tax havens involved.

Daniel's suggestion was made in reaction to my tweets.

Based on the Tax Justice Network Financial Secrecy Index (full disclosure: I directed the first FSI, but not this version) the full list of participants that are tax havens based on the secrecy that they offer are as follows, with their rankings shown:

Rank Secrecy Jurisdiction Secrecy Score
76 Samoa 88
45 Vanuatu 87
28 Seychelles 85
65 St Lucia 84
73 Brunei Darussalam 84
26 Barbados 81
12 Malaysia (Labuan) 80
14 Bermuda 80
19 Mauritius 80
35 Bahamas 80
52 Belize 80
67 Antigua & Barbuda 80
80 St Kitts & Nevis 80
49 Gibraltar 79
77 Dominica 79
79 Maldives 79
81 Nauru 79
62 St Vincent & the Grenadines 78
63 Turks & Caicos Islands 78
70 Grenada 78
78 Cook Islands 77
61 Anguilla 76
9 Jersey 75
60 Botswana 73
4 Cayman Islands 70
5 Singapore 70
15 Guernsey 67
34 Isle of Man 67
20 British Virgin Islands 66
57 Ghana 66
17 Canada 54
36 South Africa 53
41 Cyprus 52
48 New Zealand 52
44 Australia 47
32 India 46
64 Malta 44
21 United Kingdom 40

Clicking on each name should bring up their FSI report.

I generally cut off at 60 when deciding whether a place is a tax haven but there are exceptions. New Zealand , Cyprus and Malta all sell very specific tax haven law abuse. And the UK is, of course, the hub of this network, making London the epicentre of this arrangement, which is why the Tax Justice Network wrote to the Queen about it a year ago.

The opening of the games was marked by a fund raising gesture for UNICEF. Unfortunately the tax haven activities of so many Commonwealth states - the Hiddenwealth - will undermine any good that appeal will do. It is corruption that undermines developing countries - but most especially that facilitated by tax havens and the lawyers, accountants and bankers who populate them. And have no doubt, children suffer as a result.