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Impact of the Panama Papers

06 Jul 2017

In June 2016 the European Parliament set up a committee to consider the impact of the Panama Papers, referred to as the PANA Committee.  It has now published its first findings in a draft report here.  It is available for amendment and comment until September 2017.  STEP have commented on the report (see here).  Their summary comments, in particular, that the EU should draw up a common blacklist of non-cooperative jurisdictions, in terms of objective criteria such as secrecy and poor money laundering controls, insisting that a zero corporate tax rate should be considered as one of the criteria. Furthermore, the EU Council should put in place strong and deterrent sanctions against blacklisted countries, such as the suspension of third country equivalence regime in the financial sector. Publicly accessible beneficial ownership registers should be set up to prevent anonymity of ultimate beneficial owners. A global company register should be set up, along with a central register of bank accounts accessible to financial intelligence units and national law enforcement bodies. The EU Council should swiftly adopt the existing Commission proposal on mandatory disclosure of information by intermediaries, along with regulation of the wealth management profession.

How workable this is remains in doubt but one can see the direction of travel.

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