June 30, 2020 / 8:32 AM / 9 days ago

Governments sharing bank details uncover $11 trillion in offshore assets

FILE PHOTO: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Secretary General Angel Gurria attends a news conference after a meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany October 1, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

PARIS (Reuters) - Tax authorities in nearly 100 countries saw 10 trillion euros ($11.2 trillion) in offshore assets come to light last year due to the automatic exchange of details for 84 million bank accounts, the OECD said on Tuesday.

That marked a sharp increase from 2018 when tax authorities began sharing on an annual basis information like balances and transactions on offshore accounts, uncovering 5 trillion euros in assets previously hidden in 47 million accounts.

The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said the increase was due to more countries joining the initiative and a broader range of information was shared.

“The discovery of previously hidden accounts thanks to automatic exchange of information has and will lead to billions in additional tax revenues,” OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria said in a statement.

The 2018 launch of the automatic exchange of account details was the culmination of a two-decade international clampdown on tax evasion that has all but ended bank secrecy in many erstwhile offshore financial centres.

($1 = 0.8899 euros)

Reporting by Leigh Thomas in Paris; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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