Tax havens are cog in global economy, say defenders:
Offshore funds and shell companies allow multinationals and individuals to manage
many issues. The release of the Panama Papers has made vivid the role played by tax havens in hiding illicit gains. But the rapid growth in offshore centres in recent decades has been built on more than secrecy.
“The international financial services industry plays a vital and largely positive role
in the global economy,” said Nigel Green, chief executive of deVere Group, an international advisory firm.
James Quarmby, a wealth structuring expert at law firm Stephenson Harwood,
“Everyone has gone a bit over the top. They have gone too far. The point we need
to remember is just because some naughty people have used offshore for money
laundering and tax evasion, it doesn’t mean that everyone is using offshore
companies for money laundering and tax evasion,” said Mr Quarmby, who called
offshore finance centres “the grease on the wheels in international trade”.