Hugo De Stoop, chief executive of tanker group Euronav, has spelled out some awkward truths to the shipping industry. “We have tried to be untransparent, to hide behind the systems, to be as ­unregulated as possible, to pay as little tax as possible.”

Ouch! The blunt comment was made last week at the Global Maritime Forum’s Virtual High-Level Meeting. De Stoop was giving his view as to why policy­makers had looked the other way when shipowners asked for help over Covid-19.