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OFFSHORE UNDER SCRUTINY BUT SECRECY TO SURVIVE
The financial crisis will heap even more pressure on tax havens to stop helping clients hide their money from the tax man, but offshore centres look set to retain favour for privacy and other attractions. Germany infuriated Liechtenstein earlier this year with a probe into Germans stashing assets in the tiny Alpine state, while U.S. authorities are pursuing UBS (UBSN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for helping wealthy Americans hide cash in Switzerland to avoid tax.
TAXMAN TO TAKE SECOND BITE OF OFFSHORE CHERRY
Plans to offer British taxpayers a second chance to come clean about offshore bank accounts could help speed up a complex crackdown on evasion. HM Revenue & Customs has already granted one amnesty to those hiding money in offshore accounts to pay outstanding tax, plus interest and a 10% penalty.
NO COMPENSATION FOR OFFSHORE SAVINGS ACCOUNT CUSTOMERS
British savers with money saved in offshore accounts stand to lose all, or most, of their money because the accounts are not covered by the UK's Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), it has been revealed. Following the collapse of the Icelandic banking system, thousands of Brits might never again see the money that they have saved in offshore accounts in order to avoid paying tax on it.
U.K. BANKS SHOULD SHUT TAX HAVEN UNITS
The U.K. Treasury should tell banks receiving investment from the government to close their operations in offshore tax havens, said Vince Cable, a Liberal Democrat lawmaker who speaks on finance. ``It seems totally inappropriate for banks funded by the taxpayer to be systematically avoiding British tax or helping customers to do so,'' Cable said in an interview. ``The anomaly of the nationalized banks will bring this issue to a head.'' Prime Minister Gordon Brown's government plans to pay 37 billion pounds ($65 billion) for stakes in Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, HBOS Plc and Lloyds TSB Group Plc. Germany, France and the U.S. are working on similar programs to boost banking capital after the credit crisis choked off funding.
LATVIA WILL NOT GO BANKRUPT AS ICELAND DID
Latvia will not go bankrupt as Iceland did, because Latvia is protected by the “cushioning” of the European Union structural funds, as the Latvian Commercial Banks Association President Teodors Tverijons said in an interview on the Latvian State Television yesterday. The International Monetary Fund, which warns that the Baltic countries are at risk of following Iceland into bankruptcy, has established a support fund for new countries. Tverijons added confidently that Latvia will not have to use money from the fund for improving the economic situation in the country. Regardless of the crisis on global financial markets, the banks in Latvia will end 2008 with profit, except this profit will not be as large as it used to be in the past year.
EU'S JUNCKER SAYS U.K. WILL CONSIDER ADOPTING EURO AFTER CRISIS
Luxembourg Finance Minister Jean- Claude Juncker told German newspaper Rheinischer Merkur the U.K. will consider adopting the euro once the credit crisis abates. ``The British prime minister had to beg to be let into the room in which the euro group was meeting,'' Juncker told the newspaper in an interview published today. ``I'm sure that when the storm is over, the British will think about whether they shouldn't become an equal in all decision-making bodies.''
TRIAL STARTS IN LOUISIANA MONEY LAUNDERING CASE
A woman charged with conspiring with a state senator to launder money claims her defence is tainted by "horrible publicity" from the lawmaker's guilty plea last week, but a judge on Tuesday rejected her bid for a last-minute postponement of her trial. Former state Sen. Derrick Shepherd, who pleaded guilty Friday to a conspiracy charge and resigned from the Senate, isn't expected to testify in the case against unlicensed bond broker Gwendolyn Joseph Moyo.
'BANKS UNDER ROBUST REGULATORY OVERSIGHT'
Amidst concerns over the current global financial crisis comes the advice from the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) that local banks are subject to “robust regulatory oversight”. According to regulatory body, retail banks have always been required to report to CIMA on an ongoing basis. CIMA and the retail banks are meeting regularly and the banks are providing reports on their financial position to CIMA on an even more frequent basis.
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