02. März 2017: ALDE Seminar: Panama Papers: Role of the middlemen? Should we better regulate intermediaries?

02. März 2017: ALDE Seminar: Panama Papers: Role of the middlemen? Should we better regulate intermediaries?

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09:00-11:00, PHS 5B001 – Livestream via https://alde.livecasts.eu/panama-papers

The Panama Papers have highlighted how certain financial intermediaries and other providers of financial and tax advice appear to have actively helped their clients to conceal money offshore. Whilst some complex transactions and corporate structures may have entirely legitimate purposes, it is also clear that some schemes and offshore activities may be less legitimate and in certain cases even illegal.

In light of the work undertaken in the framework of the EP inquiry committee on the matter, the ALDE PANA team concur in saying that our investigation should focus on the role played by the intermediaries (banks, lawyers, accountants, wealth managers…). Given the complexity of the matter, and given that ALDE shares the Co-Rapporteurship with S&D it is of foremost importance to organize a seminar with experts focusing on this field. This will help our group to clarify certain issues, both at the technical and political level. This seminar will give us a critical analysis of intermediaries while at the same time, provide us with some example of good practices on how to better regulate them.

Focus of the seminar: The obligations incumbent to the intermediaries when it comes to fight money laundering and tax evasion:
• How practitioners (mis)use the law for their own objectives? What are their current obligation and how to they apply them?
• Are there any loopholes in EU regulation?
• Supervision: who supervises the intermediaries at the national level and EU level and how effective is this supervision?
• Is the conventional policy-making approach the right one to discourage intermediaries from engaging in tax avoidance and opaque offshore business? : The case of the Israeli tax authorities and how they “co-opted” their country’s wealth managers with some structural changes to demands and incentives.

The seminar aims at providing clear answers to these open questions and from there draw some recommendations.