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February 10, 2011

WBrief: Arab revolutions could spell trouble for private banks

By Spear's

Amid widespread revolutionary turmoil in the region in recent weeks, shock new figures from MyPrivateBanking have revealed that wealthy individuals from the Middle East and Africa are stashing some $235 billion of illegal money in offshore accounts – with potentially disastrous consequences for private banks

Amid widespread revolutionary turmoil in the region in recent weeks, shock new figures from MyPrivateBanking have revealed that wealthy individuals from the Middle East and Africa are stashing some $235 billion of illegal money in offshore accounts – with potentially disastrous consequences for private banks. 

According to the Swiss research firm and client advocacy group, Middle Eastern and African individuals hold $1.5 trillion in offshore bank accounts, and the firm estimates that at least 15 per cent of these funds have been appropriated illegally or through the exploitation of governmental positions – giving the $235 billion figure.

The upshot of this for the industry, according to MyPrivateBanking, is that some private banks are facing serious financial, legal and reputational damage in the case, which is looking more and more likely, that corrupt Middle Eastern and North African regimes are overthrown and their leaders prosecuted.

To read the full story, visit wealthbriefing.com

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