GUERNSEY is evolving constantly to keep in line with continual changes in standards and expectations, highlighted by the Panama Papers leaks earlier this year, according to the island’s senior States member.
Gavin St Pier told the Guernsey Compliance and Economic Crime Symposium late last year that leaks, not just from Panama but others both before and after, and the reaction to them, have ‘set a tone’.
‘They are discussed in the media in a particular way. There have been questions raised in relation to some politicians through their actions – or through the actions of their families. The leaks have led to actions by governments and by others to improve regulatory standards and standards for the transparency of information,’ he said.
‘There appears to be limited proven criminality at the heart of the information in the leaks, but an environment has developed, or perhaps it would be fairer to say, exacerbated, that, at the very least, there is something not quite right, something unsavoury, about using the services of international finance centres.
‘Essentially, this is simply a manifestation of the historic criticism of offshore business, of international finance centres, and that at one level or another, such centres are tax havens, have secrecy, are uncooperative and can easily harbour criminal assets.’
Deputy St Pier, whose address was themed around the leaks episodes, said that more leaks could be expected and that keeping up with developments and expectations was critical for the future of every regulated financial centre.