Join a conference on financial secrecy
Tax evasion, bribery and fraud can be part of apparently legitimate business. Are the financial institutions capable of detecting criminal activity, as required by the regulations?
On Wednesday 24 March NHH organizes a digital mini-conference on financial secrecy.
`In the last decade a range of cases brought forward by investigative journalists have revealed how financial secrecy facilitates tax evasion, corruption, money laundering and terror financing´, conference organizer Tina Søreide says.
She is a Professor at the Department of Accounting, Auditing and Law.
As an expert on corruption, governance and law enforcement, Søreide has closely followed some of the big scandals in international business.
`We all have seen references to leaks of revealing facts, such as Panama papers, the Cum-Ex deals, and Paradise papers. Combine this with large corruption cases, like Lava Jato, the Odebrecht cases, the Rolls Royce case, and Unaoil case, and money laundering cases, like the ones involving Danske Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and Swedbank, we get a grim picture of how easily tax evasion, bribery and fraud can be part of apparently legitimate business´, she says.
Norway is not immune to the problems. In November 2019, for example, we learned about alleged corruption in Namibia involving an Icelandic company that made their transfers via DNB, the largest bank in Norway.
Loss of profit?
Such cases give rise to a range of questions, especially in view of the stricter financial reporting requirements introduced after the 2008-10 financial crises, as well as the ones following the EU Money Laundering Directive. This directive requires banks in Europe to conduct due diligence of customers, monitor transactions, and report suspected activity to the police or financial oversight institutions.
During the mini conference on Wednesday 24 March, these questions will be discussed:
- Are the financial institutions capable of detecting criminal activity, as required by the regulations? Are the rules too complicated for them to know what features should be considered warning signs/red flags and trigger additional scrutiny?
- Which sorts of financial illegal activity are detected and deterred by the current regulatory regime and the financial institutions’ control of customers? For which illegal activities are the shortcomings the clearest?
- Could it be that some financial institutions are inclined to let suspicious transactions go through because of potential loss of profit if they report them? Or, could it be that the transactions they do report attract too little attention by oversight institutions, and thus, are allowed to continue?
Students to be part of the solution
Three speakers will address these challenges, while students and other participants will be invited to raise questions. NHH addresses such challenges in many of its master courses because we want students to be part of the solution to serious challenges in society, and not a part of the problem.
- Mirella Elisa Grant- Group Executive Vice President Compliance at DNB. DNB is Norway's largest financial services group and one of the largest in the Nordic region in terms of market capitalization.
- Sigrid Klæboe Jacobsen - Executive director and co-founder of Tax Justice Network – Norway. The organization plays an essential role in bringing tax justice to global attention by use of research and advocacy.
- Guttorm Schjelderup is a Professor of Economics and Business Economics at NHH and Head of the Norwegian Center for Taxation (NoCeT).
Tina Søreide, Professor of law and economics at NHH, will moderate the event.
Wednesday 24 March at 14.15-15.45
For participation, please connect on this Zoom link at around 14.00. https://nhh.zoom.us/j/64292509113?pwd=eEVUWFdNbW5uaGFISjVRaFN6aiswUT09
Meeting ID: 642 9250 9113. Passcode: 148897