Jersey

Panama Papers: Mossack Fonseca closes island offices

Mossack Fonseca logo Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mossack Fonseca employs between three and four people in Jersey

The firm at the centre of the Panama Papers data leak is to end its operations in Jersey as a result of the scandal.

Mossack Fonseca is also to close offices in the Isle of Man and Gibraltar, it said.

More than ten million documents from the firm have shed light on how the rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth.

The company said the leak was partly behind its decision to quit the island.

Jersey, where the company has had a small office for 20 years, was mentioned many times in the leaked documents.

The outpost acted as a go-between for customers and Mossack Fonseca's Panamanian HQ.

Three of the biggest banks involved were based in the Channel Islands. One Jersey-based private bank, Coutts and Trustees, had over 900 listings in the papers.

The company thanked staff at the three affected offices for their "loyal and sterling" service.

Analysis by BBC South West businesses correspondent, Neil Gallagher

Officially this is being described as part of a consolidation of its branch network.

The firm admits that the change is connected with what it calls its 'head office data intrusion'. It describes having to close the offices as a matter of 'great regret'.

At its peak, Mossack Fonseca's global network extended to more than 40 countries.

The services offered by include incorporating and administering companies in offshore jurisdictions, and wealth management.

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