FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong is the world's fourth most secretive financial center

In its bid to attract more offshore financial services, it is ranked roughly on par with Panama.

Hong Kong is ranked as the fourth most secretive financial center in the world after accounting for 4.17% of the global market for offshore financial services, according to a global ranking index by Tax Justice Network. 

The report notes that Hong Kong’s secrecy score of 71 out of 100 makes it one of the fastest growing secrecy jurisdictions or tax havens in the world and roughly on par with Panama.

The report also cited data that Hong Kong’s offshore wealth sector is poised to grow 9.3% annually to 2020 to post the fastest rate for any major financial centre along with regional rival Singapore as the two are projected to attract more overseas wealth at twice the rate of the Alpine bank secrecy capital Switzerland. 

Switzerland snags the top spot as the world’s most secretive financial centre after accounting for over $2.4t in assets under management by the end of 2015.

The USA and Cayman Islands follow at second and third place respectively. Hong Kong’s regional rival Singapore clinches the fifth spot followed by Luxembourg, German and Taiwan. United Arab Emirates and Guernsey of Channel Islands in the English Channel complete the top 10. 

The Tax Justice Network is a group campaigning for greater secrecy in bank transactions.

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