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Paradise Papers: What could be the impact on your firm?

Editorial Team
Deck chairs are tied up on the beach as rain and wind caused by Hurricane Rina lash out in Playa del Carmen. Photography: Victor Ruiz Garcia
Photography: Victor Ruiz Garcia

Our webinar, Trouble in Paradise, takes a closer look at the Paradise Papers, including the lessons for minimizing risk exposure to sanctioned and other undesired parties.

The documents that make up the Paradise Papers offer an in-depth look inside an industry founded on secrecy.

They expose the offshore financial affairs of a range of international corporates, politicians and high-net-worth individuals, as well as the banks, financial institutions, law firms and other organizations that advise them.

Augment and simplify the customer process, and protect against reputational damage from heightened risk customers with Thomson Reuters Enhanced Due Diligence

The leaked data and documents were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the same newspaper behind the public airing of the world’s biggest data leak — the 2016 Panama Papers.

A snake retreats into a drawer at a store selling snake soup in Hong Kong. Photography: Bobby Yip
A snake retreats into a drawer at a store selling snake soup in Hong Kong. Photography: Bobby Yip

About half of the data emanates from legal services firm Appleby and corporate services provider Estera. The balance of the information is from corporate registries in 19 jurisdictions, including some in the Caribbean and a Singapore-based international trust and corporate services provider.

Director of Risk at Thomson Reuters, Phil Cotter, had this to say soon after the Paradise Papers story broke.

You can also read his blog post to get the back story.

Paradise Papers impact

Solutions and best practice were among the topics addressed in our Trouble in Paradise webinar held on November 9th, particularly in relation to transparency, ultimate beneficial ownership, and using a risk based approach.

As new leaks from the Paradise Papers emerge, understand the impact for you and your firm

During the webinar our experts discussed:

  • The enduring popularity of opaque structures in low-tax centres.
  • The reality of lax rules and regulations in tax havens.
  • Regulations that call out beneficial ownership concerns and best practices to ensuring transparency.
  • How to manage your exposure in light of these latest revelations.
  • How not to let someone else’s off-shore desires put your business at risk.

You can learn more from the recording and also find out what concerns were raised by your peers.

Watch video — Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) and the risk of not knowing

Prevention rather than cure

The months and even years ahead will see tax authorities across the globe sifting through and analyzing this plethora of information, whilst deciding what action to take against those involved, if there is evidence of illegal activity.

Identifying the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO): The challenge of finding the needle in the haystack
Identifying the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO): The challenge of finding the needle in the haystack

Find out more about Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UB0) from Thomson Reuters

The regulatory response is likely to be significant and underlines again how important it is for banks and financial institutions to keep ahead of the curve.

This includes conducting rigorous KYC due diligence on all clients; verifying the ultimate beneficial owner/s and the source/s of wealth of each client; and uncovering potential links to any politically exposed persons (PEPs).

Help you meet your regulatory obligations and make informed decisions with World-Check from Thomson Reuters

Listen to the Paradise Papers webinar recording at a time that suits you and find out how Thomson Reuters can help to minimize your firm’s risk exposure.

Enhanced Due Diligence