On the eve of the G20 which has now begun its first working session, President Putin gave an interview to Channel One and the Associated Press
Much of the interview was dominated by the subject of Syria but it did break out from time to time into other core areas of the G20 programme.
“The purpose of the G20 Summit is first and foremost to discuss economic issues and global economic problems, such as the issues of growth, fighting unemployment and corruption, tax offences and administration.”
“The Summit will be a success if there is an open and positive discussion aimed at finalizing prepared decisions. What kind of decisions? I am talking about a set of measures aimed at boosting growth in the world economy and creating new jobs. These are two main tasks. At the same time, we believe that to fulfil these crucial tasks we need to accomplish several sub-tasks, in particular to promote investment, to make the world economy more transparent and to take action, as I have already mentioned, in the field of tax administration, in banking system, etc.”
He goes on to make perhaps one of the more relevant comments for International Finance Centres.
“We have prepared the so-called St.Petersburg Action Plan for the development of global economy and creation of new jobs. We have reached an agreement on some other issues, such as the fight against corruption and actions to eliminate tax havens. There is a wide range of measures to be taken. Of course, we will discuss the issues of global trade and global finance and will deem the Summit to be a success if all documents prepared and agreed in advance are adopted.”
What is he talking about when he describes eliminating ‘Tax havens’?
Previous G20’s have addressed this subject with the London G20 in 2009, and the Cannes G20 under President Sarkozy in 2011, more accurately and helpfully using the term on non cooperative territories. What is in mind here is jurisdictions with poor anti money laundering defences and weak systems to address tax evasion. This is a problem which I am pleased to say does not include Jersey.
The days of secrecy jurisdictions are all but over, where local laws prevent legitimate information exchange. However a number of jurisdictions do not collect beneficial ownership information, so there is no information available to exchange.
To truly put that issue to rest, the American States of Delaware, Nevada and Wyoming would have to fundamentally change, as would a number of other centres around the world. But again this list does not include Jersey, we capture the information on beneficial ownership and hold it in client records available for inspection by appropriate authorities.