'Panama Papers': World Bank, IMF heads decry massive money-hiding


World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said the "Panama Papers'' revelations that many of the world’s richest and most powerful people avoid paying many billions in taxes by hiding money  in offshore havens is a “great, great concern” and “very, very damaging” to the bank’s “mission to end extreme poverty”.

“When taxes are evaded, when state assets are taken and put into these havens, all of these things can have a tremendous negative effect on our mission to end poverty and boost prosperity,” Mr. Kim said as he opened the Spring Meetings of the World Bank and IMF in Washington.

Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF, said the Panama Papers,  showed that “the [international tax] rules appear to be skewed towards the global rich.''

“Clearly what has resulted from the review of these Panama Papers indicates that however important [international tax rules to prevent] base erosion and profit shifting … it is unfinished business,” she said in an opening address to the meeting.