REPORT #373 August 2000

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

I know there is a banking economic war going on around the world, between the 29 OECD countries and the 49 or so Tax Havens for banking financial market share, but what is this part about TAX HAVEN countries cutting off their noses to spite their faces? Doesn't make sense! They might as well shoot themselves in the foot.

I have a standard Mutual Fund, except is it is modeled on the Delaware, USA REIT's. This is a Trust format, which is still a mutual fund basically. The differences are relatively neglible, mostly in control of the operation. In any OECD country, I can take the paper work in a bank, a few hundred dollars and within twenty minutes open a bank account for it. Put my signature down as Trustee, fill out tax forms and walk out. All within a half an hour.

I have tried to open bank dollar accounts this past week in one of the four banks in the Turks and Caicos islands and earlier times also in Belize. Not possible they say! Due to the OECD complaints, they want the beneficiary clearly listed and identified. Well in an REIT or a Mutual Fund, you have floating memberships. Certificates are redeemed, new people subscribe and it is an ever changing ballgame. It plays havoc with your investing strategies, when you cannot be sure of how many redemptions you might have in a year and what particular time of a year.

That aside, the rule seems to be, that what is regarded as normal banking practice in an OECD country, is not allowed by a Tax Haven bank in the Caribbean. Yet the Tax Havens, at least in Belize and Turks & Caicos claim they are trying to comply with OECD requirements and that is why they will not accept a Mutual Fund, or Trust working as a mutual fund because of the multiple changing floating beneficiary problem.

From my viewpoint, it is a peculiar train of thought and logic, that bankers in Belize and Turks & Caicos will not accept dollar accounts that are Mutual Fund Trusts because they want a clearly defined single beneficiary. This is called due diligence! Yet, I find no problem opening the same account in an OECD country, that is supposedly the reason why banks in the Caribbean are setting this rule. So they claim!

In this war of financial market shares, one has to wonder what is going on, when the traditional long established, defending tax haven foreign international banks go so far as to do the OECD's fighting for them, against themselves or the countries in which they are doing business, in the struggle for financial market share. There seems, at least in the Caribbean, to be a lock on the commercial trade banking market by these common large international banks. It would seem Caribbean Government regulated tax havens need a bunch of small private, wall plaque banks that would cater to other commercial needs, that are not your standard government loans, or import-export letters of credit.

I think in financial matters, that Governments in the Caribbean tax havens and probably those that are not, should start self-educating themselves in the banking practices going on in their countries and start passing legislation favoring the countries economy and not that of the interests of those large international banks exploiting their countries. These international banks in the Caribbean are speaking with a forked tongue. They are controlling countries and economies for their own profit benefit. It is just so weird that you cannot open a dollar account acceptable in OECD countries, in a Caribbean country tax haven because the economies are dominated and controlled by a few international banks who throw out lies as a smoke screen to cover up what they are doing. Belize in particular needs some private wall plaque banks and a place to switch government accounts too! Maybe that will teach the big international banks a lesson. It is either that, or a revision of banking legislation. Let's face it, Belmopan and most politicians in the small countries of the Caribbean are gullible and nave to be hoodwinked with lies disguised as rational logic.

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