On 15 July 2020, UK GVT announced beneficial register for territories.
- Overseas territories to create accessible registers of company beneficial ownership.
- Minister for the Overseas Territories and Sustainable Development, Baroness Sugg, made a written Ministerial statement in the House of Commons and House of Lords.
- Welcomed statements by overseas territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Montserrat, the Pitcairn Islands and St Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha, the Turks and Caicos Islands, committing to greater transparency.
- Follows, CAY GVT July 2020 statement on beneficial ownership register.
- They plan to establish publicly accessible registers of company beneficial ownership.
- Follows, UK GVT said EU countries backed global tax evasion standard.
- The 8 territories have all demonstrated good progress and political leadership as part of global effort to increase transparency in financial services and tackle illicit finance.
- UK GVT will prepare and publish a draft Order in Council before the end of 2020.
- Hoped that the British Virgin Islands will also commit to publicly accessible registers.
- UK GVT considers end of 2023 a reasonable deadline for introduction of such registers.
- Appreciated deadline is a considerable ask for many Overseas Territories with limited resources; especially those that do not have a company beneficial ownership register.
- UK GVT has and will continue to provide assistance with workshops and webinars.
- Beneficial ownership information in Overseas Territories should be complemented by improved public access to beneficial ownership information internationally.
- Overseas territories with financial centres participate in bilateral arrangements where they share beneficial ownership information with UK law enforcement and other agencies within 24 hours (1 hour in urgent cases) (exchange of notes arrangements).
- Invaluable capability for law enforcement, NCA on money laundering and asset denial.
- Many Overseas Territories have committed to global tax transparency standards.
- Taxpayer financial account information is automatically exchanged for tax purposes.
- This reciprocal, automatic exchange of financial information addresses the secrecy that facilitates offshore tax evasion and provides evidence of tax non-compliance.