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Is the new EBRD policy a turning point for the acceptability of tax havens in development finance?

Jan Van de Poel

31 Jan 2014 15:07:57

It nearly got buried during the holiday season. But, in the last working week of 2013, the board of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) approved a new policy that could have far-reaching implications. This new policy is on where the bank’s clients can be ‘domiciled’ - officially located in legal terms.  In plain language, should the private companies who make up most of the bank’s portfolio use ‘third jurisdictions’ – or tax havens – as their legal locations, even if they do little actual business there. The EBRD is a multilateral development bank established in the early nineties to invest in the development of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In the run-up to this long-awaited policy reform, some civil society groups were calling on ...