The dawn of the 21st century heralded the squeeze on the offshore financial centres. For the last 18 years the offshore financial centres have been boxed in by initiatives in Europe and the United States of America to tighten up cross-border flows and taxation regulations.
But despite the political rhetoric, the offshore financial centres are flourishing. The global amount of wealth in offshore financial centres in this period has risen from an estimated US$4.3 Trillion in 2000 to US$9.2 Trillion in 2017.
From a regulatory perspective, the far less transparent operating environments typical of offshore financial centres have attracted those more interested in using a higher level of anonymity to evade taxation, partake in money laundering and avoid the scrutiny of the enforcement agencies in the “home” country of the participant(s).
Of course, those same opaque operating environments also provide perfectly legitimate reasons for taking advantage of the services and products they provide. These include lowered explicit taxation and consequential increase in after tax profits; simpler prudential regulatory frameworks that reduce implicit taxation; much reduced formalities for incorporation; adequate legal frameworks to safeguard the integrity of principal-agent relationships; provision of specialist services; and a means for safeguarding assets from the impact of litigation.
In a report by the Financial Times in 2017 they reported that “about 10% of world GDP is held in tax havens globally….”. The schematics show the distribution by region and some selected countries. The following sub pages will introduce you to the basis of Designer Offshore,