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  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: August 2009

12 - Supranational focus (3): the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

from PART II - The present

Summary

Good government, sophisticated financial firms and regulators who are honest and competent cannot eliminate the risk of financial calamity altogether, but they can reduce it to bearable proportions.

Introduction

This is the third of three chapters devoted to the work of supranational organisations in respect of the ‘Offshore’ environment. The work of the Financial Stability Forum (FSF) was considered first, and then the work of the IMF and the World Bank. The work of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was considered in the previous chapter and, in this chapter, the focus is on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Relevant background information has been provided already (see section 9.24 above) on the OECD so the introduction that follows merely serves to place the OECD's work in context.

At the outset, it is useful to remember that ‘80 per cent of the total offshore finance services industry is located in the OECD countries, excluding their colonies. The remaining 20 per cent is in the non-OECD countries, with even this segment dominated by a few large centres such as Hong Kong and Singapore which, conveniently, the OECD has not named as tax havens. This means that approximately less than 10 per cent of offshore business in the world is done in the targeted jurisdictions.’ Further, the OECD is on record as saying that OFCs ‘have been mentioned as cases where harmful and unfair tax competition takes place because they are simply used as institutions to avoid or evade tax’.