Economic Report Winter 2018/2019

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Editor’s Note:

The ever-changing regulatory landscape for IFCs and increasing burden of compliance is a recurring theme for the ER. We have documented the considerable progress IFCs have made and repeatedly underlined how the regulation found in these specialist centres is, in many cases, far better than those of the Big G20 'onshore' counterpart. Yet the pressure on these centres and the misinformation around what they do continues.
One of the challenges lies with the fact that these individual centres are, by definition, small and therefore possess comparatively limited resources to fight the information war being waged on them by supra-nations and global media. Individual centres have taken initiatives to highlight their positive economic function, but surely the message could be much stronger if IFCs came together to coordinate and their efforts and disseminate their worth. A certain amount of collaboration exists, but are there other and better ways in which IFCs can work together to ensure they continue to flourish?
In this issue, we ask the question "How far can IFCs collaborate in the face of jurisdictional competition?" This question is discussed by industry experts in our 'Big Debate"' feature which indicates that competition and collaboration are not opposites and can readily coexist. Indeed, the belief exists that IFCs could have a bigger impact on global debate policy if they worked together.
This theme is further explored in our Cover Story which focuses on collaboration versus competition whilst the OECD comments on the issue of enforced transparency. We also feature a strongly worded comment from an Australian lawyer who accuses the OECD of "tax fraud".
As the matter of industry legislation continues to be debated, three expert contributors examine 'What have the CRS, BEPS, FATCA and Beneficial Ownership Registers Achieved?' and 'Are Public Registers of Beneficial Owners in breach of the General Data Protection Regulation?' In a special feature, we turn the spotlight on the evolution of trusts and trusts vs. foundations, inviting expert practitioners to contribute their views.
The latest in industry legislation is covered by a leading law firm which examines the Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO).
There is no doubt that the global investment sector is currently in a state of flux as the push for transparency pummels IFCs, forcing them to re-strategise their future. The IFC Economic Report will continue to examine and chart the fundamental role of IFCs and bring you specialist insights and opinions. In our next edition, we will be looking at the possible consequences of a world in which IFCs might not exist, which will uncover some perceptive revelations and potentially calamitous predictions.

Georgina Hatch

Consulting Editor