Examination of Witness

Part of Financial Services Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:22 pm on 19th November 2020.

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Duncan Hames:

I do not think that the measures with regard to Gibraltar particularly focus on money laundering. Obviously, Gibraltar is covered by the fifth anti-money laundering directive. I think they would consider themselves to be among the earlier adopters of the measures required under that directive. What we see in the Government’s language is an emerging global standard. That has been recognised in the past year or so by the Crown dependencies and, increasingly, by British overseas territories.

Although the US starts from a very far-back position on public beneficial ownership transparency, on the basis of bipartisan—as I think they call it, or on both sides of the aisle—working on this issue, even with a Republican Senate it seems set to advance new regulatory requirements around a central register of beneficial ownership. The tide is definitely moving in the direction of greater transparency. I think it would help British overseas territories to be encouraged to keep up with that direction of change.