STEP LatAm News Digest wrap-up – May’s top stories


Struggling to hold a grasp on the myriad developments in the Latin American private wealth industry? Welcome to the wrap-up of the top five most popular stories in the STEP LatAm News Digest throughout May 2015. In case you missed them, here are the worldwide industry news stories most viewed by our readers.

Bank of America cancelled Belize correspondent banking operation: Bank of America cancelled its correspondent banking operation with the domestic and international branches of Belize Bank, as part of a ‘de-risking’ strategy forced on the US banking industry by federal regulators.

Costa Rica bill would allow tax authority to seize assets without court order: According to news reports, Costa Rica is debating plans to enable its tax authority to seize the property and bank accounts of taxpayers who have not paid their taxes without the need for a court order or judicial review.

Argentina tax authority toughened money laundering policies for Swiss account holders: The Federal Administration of Public Income (AFIP) updated its money laundering regulations for Swiss bank account holders. The National Congressional Bicameral Commission, which is headed by Roberto Feletti, decided to set tougher guidelines on the externalization of foreign currency.

Venezuela’s President Maduro called for Panama money laundering investigation: The President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, convened a special investigation into money laundering through the use of Panamanian entities. Maduro reportedly said that on a recent visit to Panama he saw “a large amount of gross wealth and opulence shown by Venezuelans living there”.

Argentina prosecuted three people for capital flight and tax evasion: Two Argentinians (Lisandro Barbuy and Omar Barbuy) and an Uruguyan citizen (Ana María Villanueva) were prosecuted as part of a joint investigation between the authorities of the two countries into tax evasion, capital flight and smuggling. According to Argentina’s tax authority (Administración Federal de Impuestos Públicos, AFIP) the three ran a shell company in Uruguay that overcharged by 20 percent merchandise purchased in China with the aim of evading paying taxes and capital flight.

The STEP Industry News Digests provide a round-up of relevant industry news for trust and estate practitioners and other professionals in the wealth management sector. They provide brief summaries of topical news stories gathered from news providers internationally, providing a quick reference for busy practitioners to all the relevant news and issues. STEP’s news digest services include twice weekly UK and International editions as well as a bi-weekly North America Digest (focusing on the US, Canada and Mexico), and a Latin America Digest.

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Follow @STEPLatAm for regular industry news across the region.

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