Africa loses about US$ 90 billion per year in illicit financial flows, robbing the continent of resources to finance investment and development. Financial secrecy allows individuals to hide and move money out of the continent. The Financial Secrecy Index 2022, shows that the largest enablers of financial secrecy are some of the richest nations in the world, including the USA and Switzerland.
British overseas secrecy hubs have reduced their overall supply of financial secrecy to the world but remain, as collective with the UK, the world’s biggest enabler. The UK, however, increased its supply of financial secrecy at home despite actively taking measures to rein in some of its overseas jurisdictions’ financial secrecy.
African finance ministers have adopted a resolution calling for a United Nations convention to stop tax abuse earlier this week as some of the richest nations, including the US and Switzerland, continue to be the biggest suppliers of financial secrecy
G7 countries are costing the world $115bn in lost tax a year. The G7 finance ministers should join the African Union’s call, and pledge to support the United Nations to start negotiations for a UN tax convention.
Five G7 countries (the US, UK, Germany, Japan and Italy) supply 12% of global financial secrecy - which enables oligarchs to evade sanctions, as well as tax evaders and corrupt politicians to avoid the rule of law. The G7 must make clear where they stand in the fight against financial secrecy by committing to a global asset register.
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