Press release | April 7, 2016

FCA demands banks must declare links to Panama law firm: Global Witness reaction

“These are welcome first steps from the Financial Conduct Authority, but the UK authorities are missing the wider point. Mossack Fonseca is no bad apple; it is just one small part of a much deeper problem. Banks, lawyers and other professionals routinely do business with suspect individuals and handle corrupt funds behind a wall of offshore secrecy, and our regulators let them. 

The government must fix the systemic problem, by requiring the UK’s tax havens to publicly declare the real owners of companies registered there and holding senior bankers to account when their institutions facilitate crime. Both of those things can and should happen at David Cameron’s anti-corruption summit next month,” said Rachel Owens, campaigner at Global Witness.

For more on how banks handle dirty money, see Global Witness reports Banks and Dirty Money and Undue Diligence.