In February last year, we published the 2021 edition of our Financial Secrecy Index, a global ranking of countries most complicit in helping individuals hide their finances from the rule of law. The index grades each country’s legal and financial system with a secrecy score out of 100 where a zero out of 100 is full transparency and a 100 out of 100 is full secrecy. The country’s secrecy score is then combined with the volume of financial activity conducted in the country by non-residents to calculate how much financial secrecy is supplied to the world by the country. A higher rank does not necessarily mean a country is more secretive, but that the country’s laws and its position in the global economy combine to create a greater risk of money laundering, tax evasion and huge offshore concentrations of untaxed wealth.
Ultimately, the aim of the Financial Secrecy Index is to highlight the laws and policies that policymakers can amend to reduce their jurisdiction’s enabling of financial secrecy.
The Financial Secrecy Index was launched in 2009, and has been published on a biennial basis since then. The index is complemented by our Corporate Tax Haven Index, a ranking of countries most complicit in helping multinational corporations underpay tax. The Corporate Tax Haven Index was first launched in 2019 and is also published every other year. Together, the two indexes give a full picture of the two faces of global tax abuse: private tax evasions by wealthy individuals and cross-border corporate tax abuse by multinational corporations.
Since its inception, the Financial Secrecy Index has undergone several methodological changes in order to adapt to the various international regulatory developments in the field of financial secrecy. The most significant changes were made following an in-depth review process conducted in 2016 with various stakeholder groups. These included experts, users, officials of ranked jurisdictions, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and the Composite Indicators Research Group of the Econometrics and Applied Statistics Unit at Ispra, Italy. The results of the review were published in this detailed report.
In this current survey, we are seeking specific feedback on particular indicators with a focus on practicality, technical appropriateness and consistency. The survey has two sections. The first addresses the presentation and availability of the index. The second lays out the specific areas of potential methodological updating.
The deadline for answering the survey is 5:00pm CEST 15 June 2021.
We are grateful for your time and expertise, and value any additional feedback.