As reported by the BVI Beacon, the most recent company incorporation statistics from the British Virgin Islands show 11.471 companies were incorporated in the second quarter of 2014, taking the total for the first half of 2014 to over 25 thousand.
On the 8th of July 2014 – nine days ago at the time of writing – the first stories based on a data leak from a private bank in Jersey were published.
The result of a collaboration between the ICIJ and the Guardian, the articles revealed that Hollywood celebrities, industrial tycoons, UK politicians and the Arctic Monkeys, among others, have links to offshore dealings in Jersey.
An article on Luxembourg’s wort.lu says that Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna has confirmed that the governing coalition “remains opposed to a Financial Transaction Tax in Europe, as long as such a tax does not become a global standard.”
Following the media in secrecy jurisdictions sometimes leads to the websites of offshore secrecy suppliers offering “wealth protection” and “sovereign investment”. These companies almost invariably have an ideological sales pitch, along the lines of “we provide asset protection for those who don’t trust the government”.
A column published in April in the Cayman Financial Review makes the case for offshore.
It starts by claiming that the arguments of offshore’s critics are based on a “profound misunderstanding of how financial transactions occur. A series of incorrect assumptions about money, business, finance and government underlie them. These assumptions are disguised by often over-heated rhetoric and pseudo-scientific or completely unscientific calculations.”
Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, in recent weeks there has been growing coverage and debate in the international media about the role of the West – in particular the City of London – in protecting corrupt Russian wealth. See for example here, here, here and here.
Uruguay’s El Pais reports that Swiss private bank Julius Baer has acquired an 80% stake in Brazilian wealth management firm GPS. Julius Baer had already bought 30% of GPS – which manages 4.7 billion euros in assets – in 2011.