During that period, there was no change in economic inequality in France; however, economic inequality decreased in five industrial nations · Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Spain (Faux, 2004).
From 1995 through 2003, Luxembourg recorded the greatest increase in total hours worked per year among industrial nations · 3.7 percent ("Economic and Financial Indicators", 2003). As mentioned earlier in this paper, the economy of Luxembourg depends heavily on the financial sector, in which banking activity is especially important (Osborn, 2001). One of the attractions of banking in Luxembourg (certainly not the only one) is the law protecting the confidentiality of personal and business accounts in the nation. In this regard, Luxembourg banking is comparable to Swiss banking ("The World's Piggybank", 2004). Private banking in Luxembourg is an important component of the nation's financial services industry. With respect to personal banking, Luxembourg is a part of the so-called off-shore banking community as a consequence of the nation's banking confidentiality laws. Off-shore banking is the term applied to the conduct of commercial banking business in a nation other than the home nation of the individual or organization conducting the business. There is nothing mysterious about either the conduct of such business, nor about the reasons for making use of off-shore banking. Off-shore banking often facilitates international operations. At times, it may provide access to lower cost money than would otherwise be available (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 1998).
Off-shore banking, however, also provides an environment in which some banking activities may escape the regulatory authority of national governments. In this context, off-shore banking activities may frustrate both national and international economic planning and goal attainment. Off-shore banking, in some instances, also f