The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revealed that almost all tax havens around the world have now made progress in meeting transparency standards in the run-up to a G20 summit next month.
In July 2016, G20 countries had called on the OECD-hosted Global Forum to devise criteria to identify jurisdictions that it believed have not made sufficient progress towards implementation of agreed international standards.
The OECD said that 15 jurisdictions which previously had a less than satisfactory rating on their peer reviews against the Exchange of Information on Request (EOIR) standard, were assessed on their progress.
Of the 15 countries, only Trinidad and Tobago was unable to demonstrate progress to warrant any upgrade to its rating, while the Marshall Islands were only partially compliant.
All the remaining 13 countries have been largely compliant. These were Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Costa Rica, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, the Federated States of Micronesia, Lebanon, Nauru, Panama, Samoa, the United Arab Emirates and Vanuatu.
The jurisdictions made a number of changes in order to be upgraded, including the elimination of strict bank secrecy and bearer shares, improved access to accounting records and a more rigorous oversight and enforcement of obligations to maintain information.
They also expanded the breadth of the exchange networks including signature of the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance on Tax Matters.
The organisation said that a second phase of reviews is currently underway, with the first outcomes to be released later this year.