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OFCs Join G5 Beneficial Ownership Initiative

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
25 April, 2016

Bermuda, Gibraltar, and the Isle of Man Governments have agreed to support an initiative on the automatic exchange of beneficial ownership information spearheaded by the five largest economies in the European Union - the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain (the G5).

Last week the G5 nations announced they had agreed to automatically exchange information on the beneficial owners of companies, trusts, foundations, and shell companies with law enforcement and tax administrations, and are looking to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to develop common international standards for this new system.

The Isle of Man's Chief Minister, Allan Bell, said: "Engaging with this initiative demonstrates our continued commitment to enhanced standards of transparency and ensures we remain part of the global response to tackling money laundering, tax evasion, and illicit finance. This commitment will further contribute to our reputation as a high quality international business center."

Gibraltar's Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, said: "The Government's position as regards international standards is clear: Gibraltar will adhere to internationally agreed principles of cooperation that deliver a level playing field and we are at the forefront of compliance along with the United Kingdom and other EU states."

Bermuda said it would adopt the new measures when there is a level playing field. Bermuda's Minister of Finance, Bob Richards, said: "In keeping with our commitment to transparency, Bermuda will of course carefully monitor this latest initiative from five EU member states, particularly as and when it develops into an international standard, at which point we will engage Bermuda's long-established policy of adherence to all international standards once they have been implemented, as evidenced by last week's adoption of the OECD's Country-by-Country reporting regime".

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