Skip to main content

Disclosure Of Beneficial Ownership After The Panama Papers

Disclosure Of Beneficial Ownership After The Panama Papers Author: International Finance Corporation(mark Fenwick And Erik P.m. Vermeulen)

Date Published: 12:36:24 PM Friday, 24-January-2020

Publication of the so-called “Panama Papers” 1 focused public interest on how certain politicians, celebrities, and other elites may have used elaborate corporate structures and offshore tax havens to conceal their beneficial ownership of companies and obscure their personal assets. Rather than taking the Panama Papers as an indication of the need for more and stricter disclosure and reporting rules, this paper advocates an alternative approach. We need to start by acknowledging that many companies are currently experiencing “disclosure and reporting fatigue,” in which the constant demand for “more” and “better” transparency and reporting is having the unintended effect of promoting indifference or evasiveness. The practice of disclosure and reporting is widely perceived as an obligation to be fulfilled and not as an opportunity to add value to a firm.