You are here: Home - Investing - Experienced Investor - News -

British offshore territories respond angrily to public register calls

Written by:
The government says it will not oppose measures to increase transparency in offshore tax havens, including the introduction of public registers.

These registers would force British overseas territories such as the Cayman Islands or the British Virgin Islands to publish details of the true owners of companies based there.

The government had faced a possible defeat in the House of Commons, having initially said it would oppose an amendment to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill introduced by Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell and Labour’s Dame Margaret Hodge. The government had originally said it did not want to legislate directly and therefore damage the overseas territories’ autonomy.

Campaigners said a public register would help uncover corruption, money laundering and tax dodging.

The British overseas territories have reacted angrily to the shift. The premier of the Cayman Islands, the Hon Alden McLaughlin, said: “Imposition of legislation, through powers that date back to the colonial era, over and above the wishes of the democratically elected legislative bodies of the Overseas Territories represents a gross affront to the constitutional relationship we currently have with the United Kingdom.

“Further, imposing such an obligation on the Overseas Territories while exempting the Crown Dependencies discriminates unfairly against the Overseas Territories. This amendment is based solely on prejudice and a wilful misunderstanding of our current regulatory framework.”

British Virgin Islands Premier, Dr. The Honorable Orlando Smith, said: “This is a deeply flawed policy as the BVI already provides verified beneficial ownership information to the United Kingdom and other law enforcement authorities.

“We believe that in the absence of a global standard and a level playing field, the imposition of public registers of beneficial ownership on the Virgin Islands could have negative economic consequences. It is unfortunate that this development has taken place as we continue to recover from last years’ disasters.

“Certainly, these are difficult times. But, I firmly believe that working together and with strong and collective commitment, our financial services industry will develop and adapt successfully as it has done in the past. Over the past few years, we have prepared the financial services sector for changes such as this. In the coming weeks, we will be taking action on those plans.”



There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Are you a first-time buyer looking for a mortgage?

Look no further, get the help you need by searching for your perfect mortgage

Five ways to get on the property ladder without the Bank of Mum and Dad

A report suggests the Bank of Mum and Dad is running low on funds. Fortunately, there are other options for st...

The essential Your Money guide to the April 2018 tax changes

As we head into the 2018/19 tax year, a number of key changes take place to existing policies while some new i...

A guide to switching energy provider

All you need to know about switching from one energy supplier to another.

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Having a baby and your finances: seven top tips

We’re guessing the Duchess of Cambridge won’t be fretting about maternity pay or whether she’ll still be...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co... Awards 2018

Now in their 21st year, our awards recognise the companies offering the best products and services to consumers

Money Tips of the Week

Read previous post:
Airbnb management firm criticised for advertising claims

Airsorted, a firm which offers management services for short-term lets on Airbnb, has had three complaints against it upheld by...