Tax haven

A territory characterized by the following five independent criteria :
(a) opacity (via bank secrecy or another mechanism such as trusts) ;
(b) low taxes, sometimes as low as zero for non-residents ;
(c) easy regulations permitting the creation of front companies and no necessity for these companies to have a real activity on the territory ;
(d) lack of cooperation with the inland revenue, customs and/or judicial departments of other countries ;
(e) weak or non-existent financial regulation. Switzerland, the City of London and Luxembourg receive the majority of the capital placed in tax havens. Others exist, of course, such as the Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands, Hong Kong and other exotic locations.