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Bermuda 'Leads On Int'l Standards Adoption'

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
11 April, 2016

The Bermuda Business Development Agency has sought to distance the territory from territories that have less robust safeguards in place to prevent tax evasion and money laundering.

Bermuda's Business Development Agency (BDA), which is responsible for attracting direct investment into Bermuda, said that "Bermuda is different" and has rejected some of the recent reporting on the "Panama Papers," which it said perpetuate the myth that all offshore financial centers are the same.

The BDA said: "While there may be businesses, service providers, and lax regulatory environments around the world that enable illegal tax evasion, Bermuda is not one of them. … Bermuda has an extremely positive global reputation built on transparency, compliance, and cooperation – these attributes have been differentiating hallmarks of the jurisdiction for decades."

The agency stated: "The EU provided a strong endorsement of Bermuda's robust, mature, and proficient regulatory environment by awarding equivalency with its own EU Solvency II regime. Bermuda is one of just two non-EU countries to be awarded that distinction. In the United States, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) designated Bermuda a 'qualified' jurisdiction. This is yet another vote of confidence in the way Bermuda handles its business. Bermuda was also the first offshore financial centre to qualify for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) 'white list' of jurisdictions that have implemented internationally agreed tax standards – jurisdictions not considered to be tax havens by the OECD."

"A further differentiator for Bermuda is the fact that Bermuda gives, rather than takes. Bermuda's contribution to global economies, particularly from its insurance industry, is considerable."

The BDA emphasized that "Bermuda complies with global anti-money-laundering directives and anti-terrorist financing standards. And Bermuda has had a beneficial ownership register in place for 60 years. Bermuda's 90-plus tax transparency treaties with countries around the globe underscore Bermuda's commitment to cooperation and compliance. Bermuda's track record shows that when asked to assist international authorities, Bermuda has cooperated."

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