An offshore financial centre (OFC) is a jurisdiction specializing in
providing corporate and commercial services, such as offshore banking
licenses (international banking license) or the incorporation of
offshore companies (international business companies). Often due to
territorial taxation, OFCs also levy little or no taxes on corporate
and/or personal foreign income. Offshore companies incorporated in
those jurisdictions are usually less regulated, but prohibited from
engaging in local business activities. The term was first coined in
the 1980s and the
International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund (IMF) defines an
offshore financial centre as "a country or jurisdiction that provides
financial services to nonresidents on a scale that is incommensurate
with the size and the financing of its domestic economy."
Although information is still limited, there is strong evidence that
OFCs captured a significant amount of global financial flows and
functions both as back doors and partners of leading financial centre
especially since the 1970s.
1.1 Distinction of Conduits and Sinks
6 Effects on international trade
7 Offshore financial structures
7.1 Ship and aircraft registrations
7.3 Collective investment vehicles
8 List of main offshore financial centres and tax havens
9 Global Financial Centres Index
10 Recent developments
10.1 EU withholding tax
10.2 OECD List
11 See also
13 External links
Whether a financial centre is to be characterized as "offshore" is a
question of degree. Indeed, the IMF Working Paper cited above
notes that its definition of an offshore centre would include the
United Kingdom and the United States, which are ordinarily counted as
"onshore" because of their large populations and inclusion in
international organisations such as the
G20 and OECD.
The more nebulous term "tax haven" is often applied to offshore
centres, leading to confusion between the two concepts. In Tolley's
International Initiatives Affecting Financial Havens the author in
the Glossary of Terms defines an "offshore financial centre" in
forthright terms as "a politically correct term for what used to be
called a tax haven." However, he then qualifies this by adding, "The
use of this term makes the important point that a jurisdiction may
provide specific facilities for offshore financial centres without
being in any general sense a tax haven." A 1981 report by the United
Internal Revenue Service
Internal Revenue Service concluded: "a country is a tax haven
if it looks like one and if it is considered to be one by those who
With its connotations of financial secrecy and tax avoidance, "tax
haven" is not always an appropriate term for offshore financial
centres, many of which have no statutory banking secrecy, and most
of which have adopted tax information exchange protocols to allow
foreign countries to investigate suspected tax evasion. 
Views of offshore financial centres tend to be polarised. Proponents
suggest that reputable offshore financial centres play a legitimate
and integral role in international finance and trade and that their
zero-tax structure allows financial planning and risk management and
makes possible some of the cross-border vehicles necessary for global
trade, including financing for aircraft and shipping. Proponents
point to the tacit support of offshore centres by the governments of
the United States (which promotes offshore financial centres by the
continuing use of the
Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC)) and United
Kingdom (which actively promotes offshore finance in Caribbean
dependent territories to help them diversify their economies and to
facilitate the British
Eurobond market). Opponents view them as
draining tax revenues away from developed countries by allowing tax
arbitrage, and rendering capital flows into and out of developing
countries opaque. Very few commentators express neutral
Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a U.S. government
agency, when lending into countries with underdeveloped corporate law,
often requires the borrower to form an offshore vehicle to facilitate
the loan financing. One could argue that US external aid statutorily
cannot even take place without the formation of offshore
Distinction of Conduits and Sinks
See also: Conduit and Sink OFCs
Uncovering Offshore Financial Centers: Network of ownership
connections between countries
Uncovering Offshore Financial Centers: List of Sink OFCs ordered by
value (showing U.K. dependancies)
A major source of difference in defining tax havens regards the major
"onshore" financial centres, like Ireland the Netherlands and
Luxembourg (amongst others).
Major regulators like the EU and the OECD don't regard them as tax
havens, and point to their transparency and compliance with
Other organisations, however, point to their role in major tax
avoidance schemes like the "double Irish", the "single malt" and the
A report published in Nature in 2017 on the analysis of offshore
financial centres "Uncovering Offshore Financial Centers: Conduits and
Sinks in the Global Corporate Ownership Network"  explains the
disconnect between these two sets of contrasting views, and provides a
more scientific approach to classification.
By analysing over 98 million coroporate connections, the report
identifies 5 global Conduit OFCs (Netherlands, United Kingdom,
Ireland, Singapore and Switzerland). These are countries of high
financial reputation (i.e. not formally labelled "tax havens" by
OECD/EU), but who have "advanced" legal and tax structuring vehicles
(and SPVs) that help legally route funds to the 24 tax havens (called
Sink OFCs), without incurring tax in the Conduit OFC (or even tax in
the source of funds location, where royalty payment schemes can be
used). It provides the following definition:
Sink OFC (24 identified): jurisdictions in which a disproportional
amount of value disappears from the economic system (see table).
Conduit OFCs (5 idenfitied) : jurisdictions through which a
disproportional amount of value moves toward sink-OFCs.
“Our findings debunk the myth of tax shelters as exotic far-flung
islands that are difficult, if not impossible, to regulate.
Many offshore financial centres are highly developed countries with
strong regulatory environments.
— Javier Garcia-Bernardo, Jan Fichtner, Frank W. Takes & Eelke
Offshore finance has been the subject of increased attention since
2000 and even more so since the April 2009
G20 meeting, when heads of
state resolved to "take action" against non-cooperative
jurisdictions. Initiatives spearheaded by the Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Financial Action
Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) and the International Monetary
Fund have had a significant effect on the offshore finance industry.
In 2000 the FATF began a policy of assessing the cooperation of all
countries in programmes against money laundering. Considerable
tightening up of both regulation and implementation was noted by the
FATF over subsequent years (see generally FATF Blacklist). Most of the
principal offshore centres considerably strengthened their internal
regulations relating to money laundering and other key regulated
Jersey is now rated as the most compliant
jurisdiction internationally, complying with 44 of the "40+9"
The Economist published a survey of offshore financial
centres; although the magazine had historically been hostile towards
OFCs, the report represented a shift towards a much more benign view
of the role of offshore finance, concluding:
Although international initiatives aimed at reducing financial crime
are welcome, the broader concern over OFCs is overblown. Well-run
jurisdictions of all sorts, whether nominally on- or offshore, are
good for the global financial system.
— The Economist, "A survey of offshore finance: Places in the
sun", 23 February 2007
The Channel Islands hold that funds generated offshore do indeed go
through the Bank of England allowing the UK to benefit from the
success of the crown dependencies as offshore centres.
HMRC offshore evasion poster, February 2014
Although most offshore financial centres originally rose to prominence
by facilitating structures which helped to minimise exposure to tax,
tax avoidance has played a decreasing role in the success of offshore
financial centres in recent years. Most professional practitioners in
offshore jurisdictions refer to themselves as "tax neutral" since,
whatever tax burdens the proposed transaction or structure will have
in its primary operating market, having the structure based in an
offshore jurisdiction will not create any additional tax
A number[quantify] of pressure groups suggest that offshore financial
centres engage in "unfair tax competition" by having no, or very low
tax burdens, and have argued that such jurisdictions should be forced
to tax both economic activity and their own citizens at a higher
level. Another criticism levelled against offshore financial centres
is that while sophisticated jurisdictions usually have developed tax
codes which prevent tax revenues leaking from the use of offshore
jurisdictions, less developed nations, who can least afford to lose
tax revenue, are unable to keep pace with the rapid development of the
use of offshore financial structures.
Offshore centres benefit from a low burden of regulation. An extremely
high proportion of hedge funds (which characteristically employ high
risk investment strategies) who register offshore are presumed to be
driven by lighter regulatory requirements rather than perceived tax
benefits. Many capital markets bond issues are also structured
through a special purpose vehicle incorporated in an offshore
financial centre specifically to minimise the amount of regulatory
red-tape associated with the issue.
Offshore centres have historically been seen as venues for laundering
the proceeds of illicit activity. However, following a move
towards transparency during the 2000s and the introduction of strict
anti–money laundering (AML) regulations, some now argue that
offshore are in many cases better regulated than many onshore
financial centres. For example, in most offshore
jurisdictions, a person needs a licence to act as a trustee, whereas
(for example) in the United Kingdom and the United States, there are
no restrictions or regulations as to who may serve in a fiduciary
capacity. The leading offshore financial centres are more
compliant with the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering's
'40+9' recommendations than many OECD countries.
Some commentators have expressed concern that the differing levels of
sophistication between offshore financial centres will lead to
regulatory arbitrage, and fuel a race to the bottom, although
evidence from the market seems to indicate the investors prefer to
utilise better regulated offshore jurisdictions rather than more
poorly regulated ones. A study by Australian academic found that
shell companies are more easily set up in many OECD member countries
than in offshore jurisdictions. A report by Global Witness, Undue
Diligence, found that kleptocrats used OECD banks rather than offshore
accounts as destinations for plundered funds.
See also: Confidentiality
Critics of offshore jurisdictions point to excessive secrecy in those
jurisdictions, particularly in relation to the beneficial ownership of
offshore companies, and in relation to offshore bank accounts.
However, banks in most jurisdictions will preserve the confidentiality
of their customers, and all of the major offshore jurisdictions have
appropriate procedures for law enforcement agencies to obtain
information regarding suspicious bank accounts, as noted in FATF
ratings. Most jurisdictions also have remedies which private
citizens can avail themselves of, such as Anton Piller orders, if they
can satisfy the court in that jurisdiction that a bank account has
been used as part of a legal wrong.
Similarly, although most offshore jurisdictions only make a limited
amount of information with respect to companies publicly available,
this is also true of most states in the U.S., where it is uncommon for
share registers or company accounts to be available for public
inspection. In relation to trusts and unlimited liability
partnerships, there are very few jurisdictions in the world that
require these to be registered, let alone publicly file details of the
people involved with those structures.
Statutory banking secrecy is a feature of several financial centres,
Switzerland and Singapore. However, many offshore
financial centres have no such statutory right. Jurisdictions
including Aruba, the Bahamas, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the
Cayman Islands, Jersey, Guernsey, the
Isle of Man
Isle of Man and the Netherlands
Antilles have signed tax information exchange agreements based on the
OECD model, which commits them to sharing financial information about
foreign residents suspected of evading home-country tax.
Effects on international trade
Offshore centres act as conduits for global trade and ease
international capital flows. International joint ventures are often
structured as companies in an offshore jurisdiction when neither party
in the venture party wishes to form the company in the other party's
home jurisdiction in order to avoid paying taxes there. Although most
offshore financial centres still charge little or no tax, the
increasing sophistication of onshore tax codes has meant that there is
often little tax benefit relative to the cost of moving a transaction
Recently, several studies have examined the impact of offshore
financial centres on the world economy more broadly, finding the high
degree of competition between banks in such jurisdictions to increase
liquidity in nearby onshore markets. Proximity to small offshore
centres has been found to reduce credit spreads and interest
rates, while a paper by James Hines concluded, "by every measure
credit is more freely available in countries which have close
relationships with offshore centres."
Low-tax financial centres are becoming increasingly important as
conduits for investment into emerging markets. For instance, 44% of
foreign direct investment (FDI) into India came through
year, while over two thirds of FDI into Brazil came through
offshore centres. Blanco & Rogers find a positive correlation
between proximity to an offshore centre and investment for least
developed countries (LDCs); a $1 increase in FDI to an offshore centre
translates to an average increase of $0.07 in FDI for nearby
Offshore financial structures
The bedrock of most offshore financial centres is the formation of
offshore structures – typically:
Offshore structures are formed for a variety of reasons. They include:
Asset holding vehicles. Many corporate conglomerates employ a large
number of holding companies, and often high-risk assets are parked in
separate companies to prevent legal risk accruing to the main group
(i.e. where the assets relate to asbestos, see the English case of
Adams v Cape Industries). Similarly, it is quite common for fleets of
ships to be separately owned by separate offshore companies to try to
circumvent laws relating to group liability under certain
Asset protection. Wealthy individuals who live in politically unstable
countries utilise offshore companies to hold family wealth to avoid
potential expropriation or exchange control restrictions in the
country in which they live. These structures work best when the wealth
is foreign-earned, or has been expatriated over a significant period
of time (aggregating annual exchange control allowances).
Avoidance of forced heirship provisions. Many countries from France to
Saudi Arabia (and the U.S. state of Louisiana) continue to employ
forced heirship provisions in their succession law, limiting the
testator's freedom to distribute assets upon death. By placing assets
into an offshore company, and then having probate for the shares in
the offshore determined by the laws of the offshore jurisdiction
(usually in accordance with a specific will or codicil sworn for that
purpose), the testator can sometimes avoid such strictures.
Collective Investment Vehicles. Mutual funds, Hedge funds, unit trusts
and SICAVs are formed offshore to facilitate international
distribution. By being domiciled in a low tax jurisdiction investors
only have to consider the tax implications of their own domicile or
Derivatives and securities trading. Wealthy individuals often form
offshore vehicles to engage in risky investments, such as derivatives
and global securities trading, which may be extremely difficult to
engage in directly onshore due to cumbersome financial markets
Exchange control trading vehicles. In countries where there is either
exchange control or is perceived to be increased political risk with
the repatriation of funds, major exporters often form trading vehicles
in offshore companies so that the sales from exports can be "parked"
in the offshore vehicle until needed for further investment. Trading
vehicles of this nature have been criticised in a number of
shareholder lawsuits which allege that by manipulating the ownership
of the trading vehicle, majority shareholders can illegally avoid
paying minority shareholders their fair share of trading profits.
Joint venture vehicles. Offshore jurisdictions are frequently used to
set up joint venture companies, either as a compromise neutral
jurisdiction (see for example, TNK-BP) and/or because the jurisdiction
where the joint venture has its commercial centre has insufficiently
sophisticated corporate and commercial laws.
Stock market listing vehicles. Successful companies who are unable to
obtain a stock market listing because of the underdevelopment of the
corporate law in their home country often transfer shares into an
offshore vehicle, and list the offshore vehicle. Offshore vehicles are
listed on the NASDAQ, Alternative Investment Market, the Hong Kong
Stock Exchange and the Singapore Stock Exchange.
Trade finance vehicles. Large corporate groups often form offshore
companies, sometimes under an orphan structure to enable them to
obtain financing (either from bond issues or by way of a syndicated
loan) and to treat the financing as "off-balance-sheet" under
applicable accounting procedures. In relation to bond issues, offshore
special purpose vehicles are often used in relation to asset-backed
securities transactions (particularly securitisations).
Creditor avoidance. Highly indebted persons may seek to escape the
effect of bankruptcy by transferring cash and assets into an anonymous
Market manipulation. The Enron and Parmalat scandals demonstrated how
companies could form offshore vehicles to manipulate financial
Tax evasion. Although numbers are difficult to ascertain, it is widely
believed that individuals in wealthy nations unlawfully evade tax
through not declaring gains made by offshore vehicles that they own.
Sony have been accused of
transferring profits from the higher-tax jurisdictions in which they
are made to zero-tax offshore centres.
Ship and aircraft registrations
See also: Flags of convenience
Many offshore financial centres also provide registrations for ships
Bahamas and Panama) or aircraft (notably Aruba,
the Cayman Islands).
Aircraft are frequently registered in offshore jurisdictions where
they are leased or purchased by carriers in emerging markets but
financed by banks in major onshore financial centres. The financing
institution is reluctant to allow the aircraft to be registered in the
carrier's home country (either because it does not have sufficient
regulation governing civil aviation, or because it feels the courts in
that country would not cooperate fully if it needed to enforce any
security interest over the aircraft), and the carrier is reluctant to
have the aircraft registered in the financier's jurisdiction (often
the United States or the United Kingdom) either because of personal or
political reasons, or because they fear spurious lawsuits and
potential arrest of the aircraft.
For example, in 2003, state carrier Pakistan International Airlines
re-registered its entire fleet in the
Cayman Islands as part of the
financing of its purchase of eight new Boeing 777s; the U.S. bank
refused to allow the aircraft to remain registered in Pakistan, and
the airline refused to have the aircraft registered in the United
See also: Captive insurance
A number of offshore jurisdictions promote the incorporation of
captive insurance companies within the jurisdiction to allow the
sponsor to manage risk. In more sophisticated offshore insurance
markets, onshore insurance companies can also establish an offshore
subsidiary in the jurisdiction to reinsure certain risks underwritten
by the onshore parent, and thereby reduce overall reserve and capital
requirements. Onshore reinsurance companies may also incorporate an
offshore subsidiary to reinsure catastrophic risks.
Bermuda's insurance and re-insurance market is now the third largest
in the world. There are also signs the primary insurance market is
becoming increasingly focused upon Bermuda; in September 2006 Hiscox
FTSE 250 insurance company announced that it planned to
Bermuda citing tax and regulatory advantages.
Collective investment vehicles
See also: Offshore fund
Many offshore jurisdictions specialise in the formation of collective
investment schemes, or mutual funds. The market leader is the Cayman
Islands, estimated to house about 75% of world’s hedge funds and
nearly half the industry's estimated $1.1 trillion of assets under
management, followed by Bermuda, although a market shift has meant
that a number of hedge funds are now formed in the British Virgin
But the greater appeal of offshore jurisdictions to form mutual funds
is usually in the regulatory considerations. Offshore jurisdictions
tend to impose few if any restrictions on what investment strategy the
mutual funds may pursue and no limitations on the amount of leverage
which mutual funds can employ in their investment strategy. Many
offshore jurisdictions (Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman
Islands and Guernsey) allow promoters to incorporate segregated
portfolio companies (or SPCs) for use as mutual funds; the
unavailability of a similar corporate vehicle onshore has also helped
fuel the growth of offshore incorporated funds.
See also: Offshore bank
Traditionally, a number of offshore jurisdictions offered banking
licences to institutions with relatively little scrutiny.
International initiatives have largely stopped this practice, and very
few offshore financial centres will now issue licences to offshore
banks that do not already hold a banking licence in a major onshore
jurisdiction. The most recent reliable figures for offshore banks
indicates that the
Cayman Islands has 285 licensed banks, the
Bahamas  has 301. By contrast, the
British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands only has
seven licensed offshore banks.
List of main offshore financial centres and tax havens
See also the list of Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories (FATF
A list of jurisdictions considered by the IMF in 2000 to be OFCs is
published online. Many offshore financial centres are current or
former British colonies or Crown Dependencies, and often refer to
themselves simply as offshore jurisdictions. The U.S. National Bureau
of Economic Research has suggested that roughly 15% of the countries
in the world are tax havens, that these countries tend to be small and
affluent, and are more likely to be successful tax havens. The
following jurisdictions are considered the major destinations:
Bahamas: has a considerable number of registered vessels. The
Bahamas used to be the dominant force in the offshore financial world,
but fell from favour in the 1970s after independence.
Bermuda: market leader for captive insurance, and also has a
strong presence in offshore funds and aircraft and ship registration.
British Virgin Islands: has the largest number of offshore
Cayman Islands: has the largest value of assets under management
in offshore funds, and is also the strongest presence in the U.S.
Dominica: has the largest number of offshore companies formed in
recent years. In recent years is now becoming a major financial center
for offshore banks.
Jersey: the most international of the British Crown
dependencies, all of which can be counted as offshore centres. Jersey
has particularly strong banking and funds management sectors and a
high concentration of professional advisers including lawyers and fund
Luxembourg: the market leader in Undertakings for Collective
Investments in Transferable Securities (UCITS) and is believed to be
the largest offshore
Eurobond issuer, although no
official statistics confirm this.
Mauritius: used for both inward and outward investment platform
for Asian, African and European countries, it has the effective
commercial and legal infrastructure required to support the
development of a global network. The island nation has a number of
double taxation agreements and is listed on the OECD list of
jurisdictions that have substantially implemented internationally
agreed tax and transparency standards.
Panama: a significant international maritime centre. Although
Panama (with Bermuda) was one of the earliest offshore corporate
Panama lost significance in the early 1990s.
now second only to the
British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands in volumes of
New Zealand: has the advantage of being a true primary
jurisdiction but with a tough but practical regulatory regime. It is
well positioned for the Asian market but retains close ties to
Switzerland: taxes in
Switzerland are levied by the Swiss
Confederation, the cantons and the municipalities.
sometimes considered a tax haven due to its general low rate of
taxation, its political stability as well as the various tax
exemptions or reductions available to Swiss companies doing business
abroad, or foreign persons residing in Switzerland.
Nevis: offshore companies located in this
Caribbean island, part
of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, are exempt from all local
taxes, including income, withholding, capital gain taxes, stamp duties
and other fees or taxes based upon income or assets originating
Nevis or in connection with other activities outside of
Global Financial Centres Index
Reputation and standards of regulation vary across the range of
offshore centres. The 2010
Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI)
gathers data on all International Financial Centres and lists the
following, in order, as the world's five leading offshore finance
Isle of Man
In December 2009 a group of professional services firms and businesses
with offices in the GFCI's leading offshore financial centres,
established the International Financial Centres Forum (IFC Forum).
According to its website, the IFC Forum aims to provide authoritative
and balanced information about the role of the small international
financial centres in the global economy.
EU withholding tax
European Union withholding tax
European Union has recently[when?] made a large number of offshore
financial centres (
Bermuda being the notable exceptions)
sign up to the
European Union withholding tax and exchange of
information directive. Under those regulations, brought into force by
local law, banks in those jurisdictions which hold accounts for EU
resident nationals must either deduct a 15% withholding tax (which is
split between the offshore jurisdiction and the country of the account
holder's residence), or permit full exchange of information with the
country of the national's residence.
A number of larger jurisdictions, including notably
Hong Kong and
Singapore, refused to sign up to the directive. On implementation, the
directive recouped far less money than anticipated, although it is
disputed whether this is because the regulations lacked effectiveness,
or because the predicted amount of funds in offshore bank accounts
transpired to have been greatly exaggerated.
Similarly, the widely predicted capital flight to
Hong Kong and
Singapore appears not to have materialised.
A ruling by the
Special Commissioners in the United Kingdom in May
2006 permitted Revenue authorities to compel UK based banks to release
information on offshore bank deposits where illegality is suspected,
even where the customer had elected to pay a withholding tax rather
than to exchange information.
In its 2000 report Towards Global
Tax Competition, the
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
identified 47 jurisdictions as tax havens based on the existence of
preferential tax regimes for financial services and the absence of
procedures for exchange of tax information. Between 2000 and April
2002, 31 jurisdictions made formal commitments to implement the
OECD’s standards of transparency and exchange of information and
were removed from the list of tax havens.
Andorra, Liechtenstein, Liberia, Monaco, the Marshall Islands, Nauru
and Vanuatu did not make commitments to transparency and exchange of
information at that time and were identified in April 2002 by the
OECD’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs as "uncooperative tax havens".
All of these jurisdictions subsequently reversed this position and
were no longer deemed tax havens.
G20 leaders agreed to crack down on tax havens on during 2009
G20 London Summit in April 2009, the OECD published a list of
countries that still needed to implement internationally agreed tax
In May 2009, the OECD's Committee on Fiscal Affairs decided to remove
all three remaining jurisdictions – Andorra, Liechtenstein and
Monaco – from the list of uncooperative tax havens in the light of
their commitments to implement the OECD standards of transparency and
effective exchange of information and the timetable they set for the
implementation. As a result, no jurisdiction is currently listed as an
uncooperative tax haven by the Committee on Fiscal Affairs.
Financial Secrecy Index
International Financial Centre
List of offshore financial centres
Double Irish, Single Malt
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^ World Bank, World Investment Statistics 2009
^ L. Blanco & C. Rodgers, Are tax havens good neighbors? An LDC
perspective. Social Science Electronic Publishing. July 10, 2009
^ See for example
Panama Private Interest Foundation
^ Legitimate asset protection against future political or economic
risk should be distinguished from unlawfully attempting to evade
creditors; see below.
^ In practice, such attempts are rarely effective. A trustee in
bankruptcy will usually have access to all of the debtor's financial
records, and will usually have little difficulty tracing where the
assets were transferred to. Transfers to defraud creditors are
prohibited in most jurisdictions (offshore and onshore) and a
bankruptcy trustee usually has little difficulty persuading a local
court to nullify the transfer. Despite the poor prognosis for success,
applications to courts in offshore jurisdictions seem to indicate that
insolvent individuals still try this strategy from time to time,
notwithstanding that it is usually a serious criminal offence in both
^ Morais, Richard C. (28 August 2009). "Illicit Transfer Pricing
Endangers Shareholders". Forbes.
^ "PIA pledges its fleet to fake firm". The Times of India.
^ 13 of the world's top 40 reinsurers are based in Bermuda, including
American International Underwriters Group,
XL Capital Limited and ACE Limited.
^ Muspratt, Caroline (12 September 2006). "
Hiscox to be domiciled in
'favourable' Bermuda". The Daily Telegraph. London.
^ Institutional Investor, 15 May 2006, although statistics in the
hedge fund industry are notoriously speculative[dead link]
Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (2006)
^ Not treating
Switzerland (with 500) as an offshore financial centre
for these purposes.
^ "Offshore Financial Centers -- IMF Background Paper".
^ "What are the most popular offshore jurisdictions?". OIL
(incorporations and corporate services).
^ At about this time the jurisdiction was also rocked by a number of
banking scandals. It also imposed an ill-advised practice of
restricting admission to the Bahamian bar to nationals of the Bahamas,
which had a diluting effect on the quality legal talent in the
jurisdiction (by preventing the recruitment of expatriates), which is
critical to the success of setting up sophisticated offshore
structures. Not coincidentally, the rise of Cayman as the dominant
force in offshore finance almost precisely mirrors the decline of the
Bahamas. See generally Tolley's
Tax Havens (2000),
^ Over 700,000 offshore companies have been formed in the British
Virgin Islands, although only approximately 450,000 remain active (the
remainder having been dissolved or struck off). This would account for
approximately 42% of the estimated 1.1 million offshore companies
Jersey Offshore Business Sectors. Lowtax.net. Retrieved on
^ The U.S. led invasion to oust
Manuel Noriega in 1989 caused
significant market shift away from the jurisdiction, from which it has
only relatively recently recovered.
^ Jurisdictions League Table 2006. ils-world.com
Global Financial Centres Index 8" (PDF). Z/Yen. 2010.
^ "International Financial Centres Forum Launched". Cayman Financial
Review. 5 January 2010. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
Tax – Offshore investors beat EU directive to avoid tax. Ft.com
(2006-07-07). Retrieved on 2011-11-02.
^ Cowie, Ian (4 May 2006). "Barclays' offshore clients face £1.5bn
bill". The Daily Telegraph. London.
^ ''Towards Global
Tax Competition''. (PDF) . Retrieved on 2011-11-02.
G20 tax haven offensive — EUbusiness
– legal, business and economic news from Europe and the EU Archived
15 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine.. Eubusiness.com (2009-04-03).
Retrieved on 2011-11-02.
^ List of Unco-operative
Tax Havens. Oecd.org. Retrieved on
Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax
The Economist survey on offshore financial centres
IMF's 2000 report on OFCs
Lax Little Islands by David Cay Johnston, The Nation, May 13, 2009
Tax Justice Network