G20 Finance ministers and central bank heads meet on October 6 to discuss economic growth and anti-corruption measures. The meeting comes ahead of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Annual Meetings in Washington. The G20 meeting will review corruption facilitated by the use of "anonymous shell companies." Some of these companies are linked to crime, theft and money laundering.
"It's critical that the G20 is focusing on structures that allow corruption to happen," noted Eric LeCompte, executive director of the religious development coalition Jubilee USA. LeCompte serves on expert working groups at the United Nations on finance and is participating in this year's meetings. "Corruption is an obstacle to development and economic growth."
Anonymous companies contribute to the more than $1 trillion that leaves developing countries each year due to crime, corruption and tax evasion. Congress is currently debating legislation that would make it more difficult to set up anonymous companies in the United States. The Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act (HR 4450, S. 2489) would give law enforcement access to the identity of who owns these companies when they suspect criminal activity. After this year's "Panama Papers" revelations exposed the use of more than 200,000 shell companies to finance crime around the world, the number of co-sponsors of the legislation tripled.
"Concern is growing in Congress around the lack of transparency and the behavior of some of these shell companies," stated LeCompte.
Read more about the crime and corruption facilitated by some shell companies
Read more about the G20 Finance Ministers' and Central Bank Governors' meeting