Offshore Financial Centers: Recent Evolution and Likely Future Trends
The origins of the world-wide distributed Offshore Financial Centers are related to the surge of the Eurocurrency markets during the 1950s and 1960s. After a first stage of rapid expansion, many of those OFCs reached a consolidation stage and remained, even after most of the original drivers for their creation were no longer present. Their insertion as part of the complex mechanisms of the global financial markets is driven by the high skilled financial services as well as the usually benign fiscal treatment the host countries give to multinational institutions established in their territory. As a consequence of the 2007-2009 Financial Crisis, the more advanced nations have formed a new group called the G20, with the aim to improve the coordination of different dimensions of the international economic environment. In its first reunions the G20 have focused in discussing the changes that are needed at the level of the financial architecture and the regulations that apply to international financial markets, with the intention to minimize the probability of another episode of financial crisis in the future. The changes that are likely to follow the G20 initiatives will change the operating conditions and affect the competitive advantages of the OFCs, but will also represent new opportunities for business. This work briefly explores the historical background of the OFCs phenomenon, analyzes its current situation and discusses its likely future trends, based on the OFCs’ most recent environmental changes.
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