As Luxembourg has concluded in its statement of ‘The 1998 Report,’ the OECD appears
prepared to abolish bank secrecy in all offshore financial centers when in fact the United
Kingdom and the United States have very comprehensive financial privacy laws
protecting their citizens from abuse by state or federal authorities.
Rather, as a consolation as in the case of Austria, which has an estimated 25 million
anonymous bank accounts, states may be led to review their bank secrecy laws with a
view to increase the circumstances upon which the veil of secrecy may be lifted in the
case of future accounts.
Secondly, as outlined earlier, the courts of the United States have with the Bank of Nova
Scotia case lowered the threshold. The court has done this, with respect to the
circumstances in which it will require a nominal defendant of a foreign state to produce
documents through a subpoena duces tecum or to give oral evidence even if the evidence
presented results in a criminal penalty in that other state.
Whilst this may be more time consuming and adds a higher level of complexity when
dealing with tax cases, it is submitted that the proper procedure should be obtaining the
evidence directly through the courts of the foreign state. Cases such as Banco
Ambrosiano Holdings v Calvi135 illustrate that through the use of interlocutory remedies