Many in the world believe that the bank secret no longer exists in the United States and that the financial institutions share their clients’ personal information with the Government; however, a recent report by the Tax Justice Network shows the United States appears in third place, led only by Switzerland and Hong Kong, among the countries that most respect the bank secret.
Three years ago, this same report placed the United States in sixth place. What does this change mean? That most countries signed an agreement promoted by the OECD which established stricter norms regarding the exchange of banking information. The United States didn’t sign this agreement, and this made Andrew Penney, manager of the Rothschild Investment Bank, among others, consider this country as “the largest tax haven in the world”.
It is precisely the American resistance to the very strong standards of the international bank has influenced the positioning of this nation as one of the most attractive for receiving foreign riches. If years ago the richest people in the world preferred depositing their fortunes in places like the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas, it’s not strange now for them to transfer them to banks in Wyoming, South Dakota and Nevada. The reason is that the experts have identified ways to transfer wealth to the United States and avoid taxes there, as well as avoiding the exchange of banking information of the person’s country of origin.
For example, according to Penney, a well-to-do person living in Hong Kong can deposit his income in Nevada and shield this information so that the Chinese government doesn’t find out and, in addition, the operation doesn’t provoke taxes in the United States.
The America’s decision to not sign the agreement with the OECD on information exchanges is an important step and helps diminish fears of working with this country’s banks. To Penney, this “decision is shown to be an important motivation for growth in negotiations there.”