The continued growth of offshore banking suggests that investors are often motivated by reasons other than a simple desire to evade tax. The account of the HSBC files published this week by The Guardian said family reasons were frequently behind the desire for secrecy. A Finnish teacher, for example, set out to hide money from her husband.
For many, the urge to invest offshore is driven by concerns that domestic banks are not safe from financial problems or government intervention. There are also concerns about kidnapping and other personal threats. Ms Dworetzsky says: “There are clients who have very valid personal safety concerns. For some people, it is a matter of life and death.”