The Luxembourg Government takes note of the publication of a series of articles in the international press concerning alleged shortcomings in the Grand Duchy's anti-money laundering arrangements and refutes the various allegations. The authors also make a number of unsubstantiated assertions about the Luxembourg economy and the financial centre.
Luxembourg is fully in line and compliant with all EU and international regulations and transparency standards, and applies, without exception, the full arsenal of EU and international measures to exchange information in tax matters and combat tax abuse and tax avoidance. Neither the EU nor the OECD have identified any harmful tax regime or practices in Luxembourg.
Luxembourg provides no favourable tax regime for multinational firms, nor digital companies, which have to abide by the same rules and legislation as any other company in Luxembourg.
Luxembourg is a stable, triple-A rated country with an open, diversified economy focused on high-added value services and industry, including financial services, automotive industry, information technologies, biotech and cleantech, as well as satellite and space technologies. Many industrial groups have production facilities as well as R&D and innovation centres in Luxembourg.
Luxembourg is also home to one of Europe's main international financial centres: many of the world's leading financial institutions, asset managers, and insurance firms have established their EU hubs and centres of excellence in Luxembourg. Multinational firms from across the globe leverage the financial sector expertise of the country to centralize their cross-border financial activities, from corporate financing to treasury and cash pooling.
Fully aware of its responsibility as an international financial centre, Luxembourg continuously assesses and updates its supervisory architecture and arsenal of measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing (AML/CFT) and applies all EU and international regulations as well as the FATF (Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering) recommendations.
Luxembourg authorities in charge of AML closely cooperate with each other as well as their peers in other jurisdictions. In line with the growth of the financial centre, the Financial Sector Supervisory Commission (CSSF) has doubled the number of its employees over the past seven years to reach 1 000 staff to date, a high figure even in absolute terms and commensurate with other major financial centres. Its staff in charge of the fight against money laundering is constantly increasing, having grown by 46% over the last three years alone.
Companies in the regulated financial sector, as well as business service providers, including lawyers, notaries, chartered accountants, auditors and other accounting and auditing professionals, as well as bailiffs, real estate agents and developers, authorized free zone operators, virtual asset service providers, certain dealers in goods and works of art to the extent that payments are made or received in cash in the amount of € 10. 000, are all subject to the obligation of due diligence, which requires the professional to identify his client as well as the beneficial owner of the transaction, and to report any suspicious activity.
More recently, Luxembourg was one of the first countries in Europe to set up a public Ultimate Beneficial Owners Registry (UBO). Importantly, it is one of the only European Union countries to have opted for a completely open and transparent registry, which is accessible, online and free of charge, without any restriction to the public (including journalists). The UBO, which is obviously only one tool among many to ensure AML compliance, and the data it holds are continuously being assessed and improved where necessary. At the end of 2020, the completeness rate of the register was around 90%.
Given that Luxembourg is fully compliant with and has implemented all applicable EU and international rules and standards with regards to tax transparency, the fight against tax abuse as well as AML/CFT – and even gone beyond these requirements – Luxembourg rejects the claims made in these articles as well as the entirely unjustified portrayal of the country and its economy.
Having been contacted prior to publication of the articles in question, the Luxembourg authorities have given extensive feedback to the questions raised. More details and facts can be found here: www.openlux.lu
Press release by the Luxembourg Government