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Ban CU Secrecy, Keep TLA's!
FiTi, 10 September 1996.
Call to abolish banking secrecy
By William Lewis in Cambridge
The UK government should take a lead and abolish banking
secrecy in its dependent territory offshore centres, a
former legal adviser to MI5 and MI6, the British
intelligence agencies, said yesterday.
Mr David Bickford, the first British intelligence lawyer
to speak publicly in the UK, said at a conference in
Cambridge, 50 miles north-east of London, that there
"appears to be no justification at all for offshore bank
secrecy other than to protect the criminal".
He said "offshore bank secrecy can and must be abolished"
and "the UK should be the first to abolish this secrecy
given their control of their dependent territory offshore
Mr Bickford, who now runs an international legal
consultancy, said "endemic corruption" is caused by
offshore secrecy, and it is "difficult to see why it is
tolerated by any other than those with an unlawful
He said allowing countries to maintain offshore banking
secrecy is "a classic example of the corruptive influence
of organised crime".
Mr Bickford added that the "justification is put forward
at all is an example of the overwhelming subversive
corruptive influence of organised crime which has managed
to magic a seemingly acceptable position out of the sheer
weight of its financial proceeds from narcotics, fraud,
extortion and other criminal enterprise".
Mr Raymond Kendall, secretary general of Interpol told
the 14th International Symposium on Economic Crime that
governments should commit more resources and step up
co-operation to tackle the growing problem of