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Deposits in Secrecy Jurisdictions

By Ann Hollingshead and March Privately Held


Over the last two years offshore banking has come under increased scrutiny worldwide by the media, lawmakers, and the general population. Despite this attention, there are few sources which estimate private, non-resident deposits into offshore financial centers. In light of this lack of data, this paper develops a proxy measure which uses data from the Bank of International Settlements, the International Monetary Fund, and the central banks of offshore financial centers to estimate non-resident deposits in secrecy jurisdictions held by individuals and corporations. In the context of this paper, the term “secrecy jurisdiction ” comprises a broader array of countries than the traditional definition of an offshore financial center. The paper finds that these deposits have been increasing markedly since meaningful data collection efforts began in the early 1990s, with current totals standing just under US$10 trillion. Even when adjusted for inflation, this expansion has dramatically outstripped the growth rate of recorded world wealth. The three jurisdictions holding the larges

Year: 2010
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