*Leaves clear solutions on the table
*G20 leaders need to enlist developing countries & public watchdogs
16 November 2014, BRISBANE — With the release of the Brisbane communiqué, G20 leaders have acknowledged the cracks in our financial system, yet they haven’t acted on some common sense steps to bolster the fight against illicit financial flows.
“It’s good that G20 leaders have been discussing the ravaging effects tax evasion, avoidance, and money laundering have on our economies, but they seem to discuss the problem every year. There is a strong and growing consensus across experts, business leaders, and even the accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers on some common sense financial transparency measures,” said Porter McConnell, Manager of the Financial Transparency Coalition. “Unfortunately, G20 leaders left a number of key actions on the table.”
It’s a vital step that G20 leaders have recognized the importance of collecting information on the beneficial owners of companies. But the fact that the word ‘public’ is still missing from both beneficial ownership registers and country by country reporting standards shows that G20 leaders aren’t fully committed to finding the strongest solutions.
Beyond the lack of public disclosure around key aspects of the transparency agenda, the forum used to discuss these issues leaves questions around whether there will be a global solution or just a piecemeal one.
“Although the OECD has talked of giving developing countries a true seat at the table, it seems to be a bit further away than all the others,” said Pooja Rangaprasad of the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability and the FTC. “Exclusion of developing countries from these processes is troubling, as they are most severely affected by illicit flows.”