Published on 30 January 2018, it “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). A total of 20 Key financial secrecy indicators (see below) is used for the measurement of the secrecy score.
Its rank “is based on a moderate secrecy score of 58 and a very large share of the market for offshore financial services, at over 12 percent of the global total. Its position is largely unchanged since our 2015 index.”
The index states that its enormous financial sector has achieved “a strong degree of ‘capture’ over the political system, media and culture. Criticism of the finance sector, and discussion about its relationship to society, used to be exceedingly rare, though the LuxLeaks revelations in 2014 are helping to change this.”
Luxembourg scored better on buying citizenship, availability of public statistics, bilateral treaties and international cooperation. But it scored worse on recorded company ownership, other wealth ownership such as real estate and valuable assets stored in freeports, limited partnership transparency, public company ownership, and harmful structures in its legal and regulatory framework.