[L]aw typically specifies only a part of the role that society expects regulatory and enforcement agencies to play.
Reference was made in the opening chapter to the pejorative sense in which the word ‘Offshore’ is often used, and the previous chapter explored some of the reasons why this should be. This chapter focuses on some of the problems that have arisen ‘Onshore’. To place this aspect in context, it is interesting to note that, in their recent review of work they carried out in assessing ‘Offshore’ centres, the Directors of the IMF noted that (as at end 2003) ‘some onshore financial centres potentially pose greater risks to international financial stability [than offshore centres]’.
Some quotable quotes
Some observations were included in the last chapter to show the disparity of views about the perceived quality of the environment under review. This chapter similarly presents some views for consideration. It has been said that:
it is generally easier, cheaper, faster and more reliable for money launderers to use retail or merchant banks in so called ‘onshore centres’.
In the UK the Treasury estimates that the black economy is about 8 per cent of GDP.
Between 1980 and 1996, almost two-thirds of all IMF member countries had experienced significant banking sector problems.
French parliamentary reports
The Peillon-Montebourg Commission, under the leadership of Socialist Deputy Arnaud Montebourg, focused its attention on a number of finance centres including Liechtenstein (March 2000), Monaco (June 2000), Switzerland (February 2001), the UK, Gibraltar, the Crown Dependencies (October 2001) and Luxembourg (January 2002).