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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

135

(Unreported) No. 237 of 1987, The Bahamas, (Sup.Ct.)

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