If you’ve seen the news in recent weeks you’ve probably heard a lot about big banks and tax havens. And you’re probably feeling pretty angry.
Corruption, illegal tax evasion, and money laundering cost developing countries billions of dollars each year. Money that could be used to finance schools, hospitals and other life-saving public services.
The numbers are staggering. The Africa Progress Panel found that the Democratic Republic of Congo lost over $1.3bn – or almost twice its combined health and education budgets – between 2010 and 2012 as a result of just five dodgy mining deals struck by firms incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, and companies based in Bermuda, Jersey, Gibraltar and the UK.
How can we fight back? Well, we first need to know how much money is hidden and where it is.
An institution that you’ve probably never heard of, the Bank for International Settlements, has produced data on money held in tax havens, which would be invaluable in the fight against corruption. But there’s just one problem. They won’t make it public.
Releasing this data would help citizens and transparency campaigners follow the money, root out corruption and ensure that resources are used to fight extreme poverty rather than lost to dodgy deals.
It will also be invaluable for the new set of global anti poverty goals that world leaders are developing and enable citizens to track progress on addressing corruption.
Call on the Bank for International Settlements, and its chairman Christian Noyer, to release the data. Now.
Corruption costs developing countries billions of dollars each year – money that could be used to fight poverty. Help us follow the money by publishing data on money held in offshore tax havens.