Washington, D.C.— A new interim report by the United Nations High-Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda (FACTI Panel) — an international group of former world leaders, central bank heads, business executives, and civil society representatives — exposes major shortcomings and systemic problems in the global framework to combat tax abuse, corruption, and money laundering. The document assesses that money launderers move at least $1.6 trillion, or 2.7 percent of global GDP, annually. The findings further reveal at least $7 trillion in private wealth — a staggering 10 percent of global GDP — is held offshore, while international governments lose an additional $500 billion annually from multinational profit-shifting plans. The report demonstrates how these harmful financial practices in particular disadvantage developing countries.
Clark Gascoigne, interim executive director of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition, issued this statement:
“The international community is failing to block criminals, tax cheats, and kleptocrats from exploiting the financial system. That fact was laid bare by media revelations this week and emphasized this morning with the publication of this United Nations report.
World leaders must finally commit to combatting the secrecy and tax dodging that bankrupt public coffers, deepen global poverty, and undermine international security and public safety.
As the largest economy in the world, the United States must show leadership in advancing the necessary reforms. Congress should start by enacting bipartisan legislation in the National Defense Authorization Act this fall to end the abuse of anonymous shell companies fueling financial crimes. This legislation presents the biggest opportunity in decades to combat illicit finance.
Yet we must go further, and extend anti-money laundering requirements to all gatekeepers to the financial system, require country-by-country financial disclosures for multinational corporations, and ensure the ultra-wealthy and multinational corporations alike pay their fair share of tax.”
Notes to the editor: