Liechtenstein Inquiry Grows

The crackdown on tax evaders who depend on Liechtenstein in order to shield income has escalated.

Nine countries from the Organization for Economic and Co-operation Development (OECD), Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, Sweden, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, have reportedly received and are examining information on Liechtenstein accounts from two banks. The Bundesnachrichtendienst has officially confirmed that Liechtenstein Global Trust (LGT) Group is a focus of the investigation, a charge that LGT has acknowledged. The other bank has not been officially named though the German Sueddeutsche Zeitung has indicated that it is a subsidiary from the Swiss private banking group Vontobel in Liechtenstein; Vontobel has said that this is not true.

The OECD has been prominent amid these investigations. The Organization claims to provide “a setting where governments compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practice and coordinate domestic and international policies.”

It is not surprising to note the OECD’s involvement. In 2002, the OECD published a list of un-cooperative tax havens, which initially included seven countries. Only three remain on the list: Andorra, Monaco and yep, Liechtenstein.