World’s richest ‘hiding £12.5tn offshore’

By staff

The world's "increasingly borderless" economy has helped rich individuals 'hide' over £12.5 trillion in offshore accounts, it has emerged.

A report commissioned by the Tax Justice Network has revealed private banks' asset growth is nearly ten per cent per year, as more and more money is poured into global private financial wealth held offshore.

That is costing governments an estimated £121 billion in tax revenues and undermining claims that prosperity is filtering down to the 99% below them.

John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network said: "These estimates reveal a staggering failure: inequality is much, much worse than official statistics show, but politicians are still relying on trickle-down to transfer wealth to poorer people.

"People on the street have no illusions about how unfair the situation has become."

The report's author, former McKinsey and Co chief economist James Henry, said private wealth held offshore was a "huge black hole in the world economy".

He argued that the size of the offshore economy could actually affect calculations of the rich-poor wealth gap.

The report said more complete reporting was needed to gain a more accurate picture of the situation.