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Gerald Hilsher

I. Introduction To many people in the international financial community, bank secrecy is not a new concept. Many countries, such as Switzerland and The Bahamas, have become attractive as international banking centers in part because of stringent bank-secrecy laws that protect the secrecy of financial information regarding bank customers. Since the 1930s, the number of countries that have adopted bank-secrecy laws has increased significantly. These laws have helped a number of countries to grow substantially in their international banking activities. For

Mr. Klaus-Stefan Enders

Lebanon has traditionally played an important role as a regional service center for the Middle East, notably in tourism, financial services, trade-related services, and publishing. 1 This role was based on Lebanon’s location, a tradition of an open and liberal market-based economic system (including a long-standing bank secrecy law, liberal rights of establishment, and the virtual absence of any control on current or capital account transactions) and a strong human capital base derived from an efficient (and largely private) education system. Taxation has