Allowing individuals hide finances: Bangladesh moves up in Financial Secrecy Index
Bangladesh has moved two notches up to rank 52nd among 141 nations in the Financial Secrecy Index 2022, meaning the country has become even more secretive in helping individuals to hide their finances from the rule of law, according to the Tax Justice Network (TJN).
The index, which was introduced in 2009, ranks each nation based on how intensely the country's financial and legal system allows individuals to hide and launder money extracted from around the world.
A higher rank on the index does not necessarily mean a jurisdiction has more secretive laws, but rather that the jurisdiction plays a bigger role globally in enabling banking secrecy, anonymous shell company ownership, anonymous real estate ownership or other forms of financial secrecy, which in turn enable money laundering, tax evasion and the evasion of sanctions.
Bangladesh's ranking was 54th in 2020.
In South Asia, Bangladesh ranked third and was in a better position than India and Sri Lanka, which ranked 36th and 50th respectively.
Pakistan and the Maldives were placed at 74th and 91st.
The US has climbed to the top of the ranking, meaning there is no other country that is more helpful than the world's biggest economy when it comes to allowing individuals to hide wealth.
Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong and Luxembourg filled up the rest four positions in the top five countries.
In a press release, Alex Cobham, chief executive at the TJN, said: "Globally, we are starting to curb the financial secrecy used by Russian oligarchs, and also by tax evaders, corrupt politicians and organised crime around the world to hide and launder ill-gotten wealth."
An estimated $10 trillion is held offshore beyond the rule of law by wealthy individuals through secretive arrangements.