Measuring a transparency index is essential when it comes about Citizenship by Investment programs: to improve the industry image, all citizenship by investment programs need to have a preventive countermeasure to graft, nepotism, and surreptitious arrangements.
However, the index must be able to balance the equally valid principle of privacy wherein personal data and investment amounts are protected. This is not easy and still being developed further.
Citizenship by Investment Transparency Index
Investment Migration Insider (IMI) is launching the world’s first Citizenship By Investment (CBI) Transparency Index to encourage program integrity and address one of the most common criticisms of the industry: that citizenship by investment programs are a security threat, ethically objectionable, and non-transparent.
Citizenship by Investment programs should be more forthcoming when it comes to timely disclosure of data and openness to scrutiny. High levels of transparency should neutralize and invalidate security threat and objectionable practices.
The CBI Transparency Index provides forthright, objective, measurable benchmarks, and standards of transparency by which the 13 citizenship by investment programs can evaluate themselves and each other. It is a quantitative index that will encourage public and private debate, self-reflection on the part of program administrators and lead to lasting improvements in CBI program transparency.
Which programs have been evaluated?
The 13 citizenship by investment programs being evaluated are: Antigua and Barbuda, Cambodia, Dominica, Egypt, Grenada, Jordan, Malta, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Turkey, and Vanuatu.
IMI is an organization that has no vested interest in any citizenship by investment program and only interested in the health of the market.
The five points criteria developed by IMI are the following:
- The frequency with which they report program data: Grenada scored highest on this criteria as it provides quarterly reporting.
- Degree of detail in the processing data they publish: St. Lucia scored highest on this criteria as it showed a willingness to share details on the nationalities of its investors.
- Degree of detail in the financial data they disclose: Malta is the most forthcoming in terms of disclosing the movement of capital into and out of its program, followed by Antigua and Barbuda.
- Degree to which historical program data is available: Only Malta and St. Lucia maintain complete, public, historical records of their respective programs’ performance.
- The extent to which integrity measures are in place ensure an equitable and open program management on the part of the government: Malta is considerably ahead of its peers, disclosing how much it has paid to private sector companies and have a program regulator that is independent of both the government and the processing unit.
In conclusion, Malta has the world’s most transparent citizenship by investment program followed by St. Lucia, Grenada, and Antigua and Barbuda.