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UK Government: Take the anti-corruption lead this G20

Written by Alice McCool on Monday, 10 November 2014

This G20 meeting, we call on the UK to lead the anti-corruption agenda and close loopholes in the global financial system to help the world’s poorest.


This is the message given today by anti-corruption activists humanitarian organsiations and individuals from every continent in an open letter to G20 leaders five days before they meet in Brisbane Australia.

The letter calls on G20 leaders to take concrete steps to stop the more than one trillion dollars of illicit money that is siphoned off each year that could be used to alleviate poverty and better the lives of millions.

We encourage the UK Government to encourage that all G20 countries:

  • Outlaw secret company ownership and mandate public registries of the identities of the real, living people (beneficial owners) who ultimately own and control companies and other legal entities to make it easier to track the origin of corrupt or illicit funds.
  • Ensure multinational corporations publish information on a country-by-country basis on revenue, profits and taxes paid so that citizens can scrutinise where money is earned and where it may be going missing.

Opacity in the global financial system serves as a smokescreen to hide crime and corruption but the G20 has the opportunity to shine a light and make it harder to hide. Lest we forget: the primary victims of organized crime, corruption, and tax evasion or avoidance are the poorest citizens of the world. Put people at the heart of your decisions in Brisbane next week.

Signatories include Nobel prize winners Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Tawakkol Karman plus the heads of the Africa Progress Panel, Amnesty International, Care International, Christian Aid, Global Witness, Oxfam, The One Campaign, Tear Fund, Transparency International and World Vision. This shows our world leaders that there is a common belief across the board that specific actions can limit corruption and illegal activities if governments make them a priority.

Encouragingly, the UK has already committed to establishing a public register of company beneficial ownership and to increase powers to seize criminal assets. But more needs to be done particularly in the British Overseas Territories and other ‘secrecy havens’. The UK must also play their role in encouraging other countries to make similar commitments; only when we can see the full global picture can the problem be tackled head on. 

The problem of secret company ownership also concerns individuals across the world. Thousands of people also lent Transparency International their voice today on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr – calling on the G20 to end company ownership secrecy. The message is clear; is time to Unmask the Corrupt.

Read the full international press release here.



Read 3052 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 12:18

Alice McCool

Alice formerly worked for Transparency International UK as our Campaigns Officer. You can tweet her via @McCoolingtons.

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