November 4, 2015

Global index: Finland’s finances clearly no secret

Finland’s financial transparency has been revealed to the world.
Finland’s financial transparency has been revealed to the world.
iStock.com/EVAfotografie

Finland has been ranked third last in the latest international study. However, unlike finishing at the tail end of most global surveys, this represents an excellent result.

The inaugural report from international group the Tax Justice Network, the Financial Secrecy Index ranked global jurisdictions according to their secrecy and the scale of their offshore financial activities. Thus the countries at the top – Switzerland, Hong Kong and the USA – are deemed to be the least financially transparent in the world.

The index sought to determine global financial secrecy, tax havens or secrecy jurisdictions, and illicit financial flows or capital flight.

Altogether, private financial wealth worth an estimated 21–32 trillion US dollars is either located, untaxed or lightly taxed, in secret jurisdictions around the world.

Information determining the index’s rankings was assessed under four main pillars: transparency of beneficial ownership, corporate transparency regulation, efficiency of tax and financial regulation and international standards and cooperation.

The two countries ranked more favourably than Finland in the index were Cook Islands and Montserrat.

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