Welcome to the 2017/18 winter edition of the IFC Economic Report.
This publication went to press shortly after the release of the 'Paradise Papers' and can be perceived, to some extent, as a 'response' to the news stories that surrounded the leak of the stolen information in these reports.
The very name 'Paradise Papers' was designed to resurrect that archaic notion of international finance centres as paradise island tax havens, where you can hide your nefariously collected gold from onshore revenue collectors.
But the news cycle surrounding this story was short lived as the oxygen feeding it dispersed. The reality of the hard work and effort these financial services centres put into their world-leading, compliant and heavily regulated structures makes the perpetuation of this myth untenable.
The lead feature, 'The Flight to Quality', in this edition of the magazine illustrates the competition between IFCs on quality - quality specialist knowledge, quality service providers, quality regulation, quality compliance standards - because that is the reality of the business structure in IFCs. It is not the so-called 'race to the bottom' of the tax competition ladder - it is the provision of quality cross-border financial services and the fulfilling of global regulatory demands, usually as the vanguard to main 'onshore' centres.
The IFC Economic Report is providing the balance to the Paradise Papers headlines. Included in this edition are representatives from the IMF and the OECD, discussing global tax policy and regulation and how that is reflected in IFCs. The Big Debate provides a spectrum of opinion on the need for Beneficial Ownership Registers and we include research on the complexity of international finance structures which involve the offshore and onshore financial world.
As work continues in the wake of another offshore 'scandal', we know that all those employed in the offshore financial services sector will 'Keep Calm and Carry on' with the business at hand - the provision of top quality specialised products and services.