FMs of G20 countries decide on steps to deal with tax havens


Following up on the decisions taken at the G-20 summit here in April, the meeting decided on steps that could enable governments get information from such tax havens.
A resolution adopted at the end of the meeting decided that the nations would “deliver an effective programme of peer review, capacity building, and counter measures to tackle non cooperative jurisdiction that failed to make regulatory standards, anti-money laundering/combating financing of terrorism.”
The measures would also include information exchange standard, stand in ready-to-use counter measures against tax havens from march 2010, British Chancellor Alistair Darling told reporters at the end of the meeting.

MDBs to lend $110 billion
The Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) have substantially increased their lending and plan to loan in excess of  $110 billion more this year in response to the strong crisis-driven demand, including over  $60 billion committed by the World Bank.
According to the progress report on the actions of the London and Washington G20 Summits, circulated at the G20 Finance Ministers meeting here, “The lending project for the next three years exceeds  $305 billion, with World Bank lending projected to increase to  $100 billion.”

The MDBs have taken concrete steps to enhance their financial capacity through the exceptional use of their balance sheets, the report said.
For example, the World Bank have agreed to increase in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan pricing and a reduction in capital adequacy policy limit over the next three years.

It said the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is making full use of its financial positions to provide countercyclical funding support to its crisis-affected DMCs and released  $400m from its prudential minimum liquidity to the Asian Development Fund.
The report said “unprecedented progress has been made since the November 2008 G20 Summit on tax information exchange and transparency programme.
 “All of the 87 jurisdictions covered by the Global Forum have now committed to the Global Forum’s standards of tax information exchange and transparency, with more than half having substantially implemented them; major financial centres both within and outside of the OECD area, which had strict bank secrecy rules or other impediments to achieving an effective exchange of information are in the process of removing these implements; and more than 70 Tax Information Exchange Agreements have been signed — a larger number than the total for the previous 10 years.”

On tackling Tax Havens and Non-Cooperative Jurisdictions, the report said “the FATF (Financial Action Task Force)is also about to consider some parts of the recommendations in preparation of its fourth round of mutual evaluations. Among the topics identified for consideration are Customer Due diligence, law enforcement, beneficial ownership of assets, international cooperation, and whether tax crimes should be considered as a predicate offense for money laundering.”

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