Ghana improves standing on Financial Secrecy Index with Beneficial Ownership Regime

In July 2016 Ghana amended the 1962 law on registration of companies – the Companies Act 1962, and the amended law includes a clause on beneficial ownership. That action, making disclosure of beneficial ownership of companies has improved the country’s standing on the recently released Financial Secrecy Index by the Tax Justice Network.

Ghana is ranked 117 out of 133 countries in the world. According to Tax Justice Network, the Index ranks jurisdictions according to their secrecy and the scale of their offshore financial activities. A politically neutral ranking, it is a tool for understanding global financial secrecy, tax havens or secrecy jurisdictions, and illicit financial flows or capital flight, the organization says.

The Index ranks each country based on how intensely the country’s legal and financial system allows wealthy individuals to hide and launder money extracted from around the world. The index grades each country’s legal and financial system with a secrecy score out of 100, where 0/100 is full transparency and 100/100 is total secrecy.

Ghana’s ranking is based on a secrecy score of 52 combined with a tiny scale weighting due to the fact that the Ghana accounts for 0.01 per cent of the global market in offshore financial services. The 0.01 per cent scale makes Ghana a very insignificant player in the secrecy jurisdiction compared to other jurisdictions.

Additionally, in pursuant of establishing transparency systems the country has signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement to facilitate the automatic exchange of information.

However, Ghana is yet to operationalise the Beneficial Ownership Regime

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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