Thirteen foreign banks with operations in New York will have to report on their relations with the Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca including communications, telephone records and any transaction made.
An article on Bloomberg reported that the Department of Financial Services (DFS) in New York has asked 13 banks with offices in that State, among which are Deutsche Bank AG, Credit Suisse Group AG, Commerzbank AG, ABN Amro Group NV and Societe Generale SA, to provide communications, telephone records and other records of transactions, between their branches in New York and employees or agents of the law firm, Mossack Fonseca & Co. The banks in question are not accused of any wrongdoing.
State officials do not own the information they manage, and when that information has not been legally declared as reserved, they must ensure its availability to the public.
And 'availability´means that public institutions must have all the doors to obtain it wide open, both administratively and technically.
State officials often create administrative barriers to free access to public information, in the form of lengthy bureaucratic processes, including sometimes filling out forms that include insidious questions about what the information will be used for.
The tax authorities would be able to access taxpayers banking information through an order issued by a qualified judge.
The business sector has not opposed the proposal to remove bank secrecy, either in the past nor in the present, provided it is done through means of an order issued by a qualified judge and a substantiated request made by the tax authority.
Colombian businessmen have pointed out the damage caused to their business dealings with Panama by the respective governments inability to resolve continuing conflicts over the sharing of financial information and tariff policy.
Representatives from the Colombian Chamber of Commerce - Panama stressed the importance of Panama not only as a financial center but as a destination for its exports and investments, and urged government authorities to more quickly resolve the differences on issues of tariff policy and exchange of financial information. Currently the two countries are in the midst of a conflict over the charging of a tariff imposed by Colombia on footwear, textiles and clothing from the Colon Free Zone.
The private sector in Costa Rica is having doubts over the ability of the Treasury to prevent information leaks, if approval is given to a requirement for companies to disclose shareholder information.
The business sector fears that the authorities will not be able to control possible leaks of confidential data which companies must provide if the decree proposed by the Directorate General of Taxation is approved. They claim that in the past information was and the actions were not punished in any way. Also, if the main objective is to verify the payment of transfer tax they are questioning why "... they are asking for information from all companies, whether or not they have goods that they can transfer. "
The decree submitted for public consultation by the General Directorate of Taxation of Costa Rica requires commercial companies to provide information about its members and the composition of its capital.
There is currently a period of 10 working days for companies that do not agree with the draft decree to declare so and make comments. This measure aims to implement the standards of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The government is reviewing the rules on tax information to adapt them to international requirements, trying not to affect the competitiveness of the banking center.
The review will be carried out by the newly created Presidential High Level Committee for the Defense of International and Financial Services (Candsif) which is composed of representatives from the public and private sector and seeks to provide input on the matter without neglecting national interests.
After closing the operation of the information provider, Dicom, a division of Equifax, the financial authorities have authorized the operation of the companies TransUnion El Salvador and Procrédito .
From a statement issued by the Superintendency of the Financial System of El Salvador (SSF):
The Board of the Financial System of El Salvador has approved a request by the company TransUnion El Salvador SA de CV and Asociación Protectora de Créditos de El Salvador, Procrédito, so they can operate as agents of credit history information services.
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