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OECD names and shames tax havens

Published on 03/04/2009

Paris -- The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development on Thursday named those tax havens it said had not made any commitment to respecting international standards on exchanging tax information.

After the agreement at the G20 summit in London earlier Thursday to act against uncooperative countries, the OECD named Costa Rica, Malaysia, the Philippines and Uruguay on its black list.

The OECD said these countries had "not committed to the internationally agreed tax standard."

It listed another 38 territories as those that "have committed to the internationally agreed tax standard, but have not yet substantially implemented" the measures.

They included: Belgium, Brunei, Chile, the Dutch Antilles, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Singapore, Switzerland and Caribbean island nations including the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

A third list of 40 countries named those that had substantially implemented the internationally agreed tax standard: it included Britain, China (with the exception of special administrative regions), France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

"We have agreed that there will be an end to tax havens that do not transfer information upon request," said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the end of the G20 summit.

"The banking secrecy of the past must come to an end," he added.

"Recent developments reinforce the status of the OECD standard as the international benchmark and represent significant steps towards a level playing field," said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria in comments published on the OECD website.

"We now have an ambitious agenda, that the OECD is well placed to deliver on," he added.

"I am confident that we can turn these new commitments into concrete actions to strengthen the integrity and transparency of the financial system."