Chapter

Offshore Finance

Dale D. Murphy

in The Structure of Regulatory Competition

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9780199216512
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191696008 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216512.003.0003

Series: International Economic Law Series

Offshore Finance

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This chapter presents another case study illustrating lower common denominator (LCD) outcome. Offshore finance is financial activity conducted outside the beneficiaries' national jurisdiction, usually in order to take advantage of less stringent regulations and the better rates this allows. The raison d'être of offshore finance is regulatory laxity. The incentives generally involve lax process regulations on the ‘production’ of financial services. Offshore finance allows firms to both circumvent and discourage restrictive national regulations. The chapter chronicles the flight to offshore financial centres from 1957 to 1988. It presents research on British banks, the Bank of England's support, and on American banks and government support, which illuminate how this system emerged. It discusses the benefits to offshore governments, and some recent moves to regulate money laundering through the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Keywords: lower common denominator; offshore banks; offshore finance; financial services; money laundering; Financial Action Task Force

Chapter.  17074 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public International Law

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