G20 Summit: promised transparency measures must be enforced to have real impact

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



The Group of 20 leading economies (G20) today called on 11 secrecy jurisdictions to substantially increase their cooperation on tackling tax evasion, but failed to address the main users of tax havens by not committing to mandatory country-by-country reporting by multinational companies.

Non-cooperative jurisdictions offer safe havens for the proceeds of corruption, tax evasion and organised crime. Greater transparency in the activities of multinational companies (in every country they operate in) would reduce opportunities for hiding the proceeds of illegal activity that ends up in tax havens.

“Those who profit from financial secrecy will be very happy with the weak level of transparency agreed today. Although the G20 has acknowledged the need to tackle corruption and secrecy, they will have to step up their efforts in enforcing practical measures that force money-launderers and tax evaders into the full light of day,” said Angela McClellan, G20 Senior Programme Coordinator at Transparency International.

By failing to deliver on financial reform, G20 continues to tackle the symptoms and not the causes of the financial crisis

The current sovereign debt crisis demonstrates that the G20 have failed to meet their long-standing commitment, articulated at the April 2009 London summit, to sustainable financial reform and transparency.

Transparency International is calling for:

By committing to a new multilateral convention on tax information exchange the G20 have committed to facilitating mutual legal assistance, which can help authorities to follow the money. However, in order to be effective, the G20 has to ensure that tax havens join the new convention. It remains to be seen how effectively information exchange will be enforced under the convention.

If the G20 want to effectively tackle illicit financial flows like tax evasion, estimated at US $1.3 trillion annually by Global Financial Integrity, they have to mandate country-by-country reporting by multinational companies The Cannes summit set low targets for disclosure requirements of companies’ payments to governments on a country-by-country basis, even though stronger rules exist in the United States (the Dodd-Frank act) and Hong Kong, and have been proposed in the European Union.

The G20 has made some progress in its fight against corruption with the introduction in 2011 of new foreign bribery legislation in China, India, Indonesia, Russia and the UK as well as agreement on best practices for whistleblower protection.

 

Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption

Notes to editors

G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan: After the G20 announced its anti-corruption action plan in November 2011, Transparency International joined other NGOs to call for its swift implementation, and has throughout the year laid out priorities and benchmarks to make sure that the G20 targets are concrete. The G20 goals were monitored by a working-group of government representatives, whose progress report was supposed to be approved at today’s summit.

Bribery: 2011 has seen new anti-bribery measures and legislation in the Russia, China, India, Indonesia and the UK. On 2 November, Transparency International released a report warning the bribery of foreign public officials and business partners is perceived as widespread in G20 countries, especially from Chinese and Russian companies.


For any press enquiries please contact

Thomas Coombes
T: +49 39 34 3820 662
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Supplementary downloads

Latest

Support Transparency International

The theme for the 18th edition of the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) is announced

Building on the priorities set out in the Panama Declaration, the 18th IACC in Denmark from 22 to 24 October 2018 will move the pledge of acting together now to concrete action.

A new home for our corruption research

Transparency International is excited to announce the launch of the Knowledge Hub, a dedicated online space for our research.

Pardon me? Presidential clemency and impunity for grand corruption

Recent events in Brazil and Peru have shone a spotlight on the issue of presidential pardons in cases of grand corruption. Read more to find out the best practices that legislators can use to ensure that pardons are not abused for political purposes.

Stopping Dirty Money: the Global Effective-O-Meter

As of December 2017, global effectiveness at stopping money laundering stands at 32% effectiveness.

Corruption in the USA: The difference a year makes

A new survey by Transparency International shows that the US government has a long way to go to win back citizens’ trust.

Anti-Corruption Day 2017: Empowering citizens’ fight against corruption

The 9 December, is Anti-corruption Day. A key part of Transparency International’s work is to help people hold their governments to account. Have a look at what we've been doing around the world!

Digital Award for Transparency: Honouring digital initiatives to fight corruption

The Digital Award for Transparency awards individuals and civil society organisations who have developed digital technology tools used to fight corruption. The award aims at strengthening and promoting existing initiatives that promote good governance through three categories: Open Data, Citizen Engagement and Anti-Corruption Tools.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media

Would you like to know more?

Sign up to stay informed about corruption news and our work around the world