BIFSA Calls Allegations in Pandora papers “Erroneous”

The Belize International Financial Services Association has commented on the Pandora Papers publication by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. BIFSA says it is regrettable that this publication highlights decades’ old information which is no longer relevant in today’s highly regulated business environment. BIFSA says the publication creates the impression of an IFSI in Belize that is “anything goes” and they say this is far from the truth. According to the release, Belize, like several other offshore jurisdictions, has recently been under significant scrutiny and pressure from global powers to become more tax transparent. While Belize is not a large player, it has always committed to being a cooperative and transparent jurisdiction. As an example, Belize met the deadline set by the OECD’s Forum on Harmful Tax Practices to remove “harmful” tax features from its IBC Regime and was assessed as compliant in January 2019 and was later removed from the EU Blacklist that same year. BIFSA strongly states for the record and benefit of its members, that it serves the IFSI with the highest level of integrity and moral standards and does not circumvent the law or its regulations for short term gain. It is a highly regulated industry. The erroneous allegations of the “Pandora Papers” are of great concern for the IFSI in Belize, and we strongly condemn the misinformation and unfair and unsubstantiated allegations against the industry and its practitioners.

Channel 5

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"You got it all wrong Pandora!" That's what the Belize International Financial Services Association has to say about those leaked papers that are blowing up Belize as a secretive tax haven where shady characters hide their money.

A press release says the International Financial Services Industry, quote, "encompasses a gamut of highly specialized services which are heavily regulated by the Government at least BZD50 million in annual economic benefits is brought to the Country with the lion's share going to the Government, and gainfully employs over 300 persons across all licensed services."

And as for the Pandora Papers, they say, quote, "this publication highlights decades-OLD information which is no longer relevant in today's highly regulated business environment. The publication creates the impression of an IFSI in Belize that is "anything goes" This is far from the truth.". end quote. The release calls the Pandora takedown a smear and insists that it serves the industry with, quote, "the highest level of integrity and moral standards and does not circumvent the law or its regulations for short term gain." End quote.

Channel 7