Tuesday, 30 January 2018, 18:00
Austrian media release
The Financial Secrecy Index ranks jurisdictions according to their secrecy and the scale of their offshore financial activities. A politically neutral ranking, it is a tool for understanding global financial secrecy, tax havens or secrecy jurisdictions, and illicit financial flows or capital flight.
The Financial Secrecy Index is the world’s most comprehensive assessment of the secrecy of financial centres and the impact of that secrecy on global financial flows. Since 2009, the study is published every two years and is founded on published, independently verifiable data. In contrast to some so called ‘blacklists’ of tax havens, inclusion in the FSI is not based on political decision making.
Countries are assessed against criteria which include whether companies, trusts and foundations are required to reveal their true owners, whether annual accounts are made available online in open data format, or the extent to which jurisdictions’ rules comply with anti-money laundering standards (FATF’s 40 recommendations).
In 2018, several new indicators have been added to the FSI and existing indicators have been substantially revised to drill deeper into questions around ownership registration and disclosure. A total of 20 Key Financial Secrecy Indicators (KFSI) is used for the measurement of the secrecy score.
In order to create the index, a secrecy score is combined with a figure representing the size of the offshore financial services industry in each country. This is expressed as a percentage of global exports of financial services. The bigger player you are, the more responsibility you have to be transparent.
The new FSI is the most comprehensive and rigorous assessment of financial secrecy worldwide. In Austria, the Index is published by VIDC and Attac Austria.