A huge new leak of financial documents has revealed how the powerful and ultra-wealthy, including the Queen’s private estate, secretly invest vast amounts of cash in offshore tax havens.
The leak, dubbed the Paradise Papers, contains 13.4m documents, mostly from one leading firm in offshore finance. However, the vast majority of the transactions involve no legal wrongdoing.
As with last year’s Panama Papers leak, the documents were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which called in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) to oversee the investigation. The Guardian is also among the organisations investigating the documents.
The Paradise Papers show that about £10m ($13m) of the Queen’s private money was invested offshore. It was put into funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda by the Duchy of Lancaster, which provides the Queen with an income and handles investments for her £500m private estate.
There is nothing illegal in the investments and no suggestion that the Queen is avoiding tax, but questions may be asked about whether the monarch should be investing offshore.