Bermuda: Companies

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 9th November 2015.

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Photo of Pauline Latham Pauline Latham Conservative, Mid Derbyshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will ensure that any agreement on a central registry of beneficial ownership in Bermuda includes access for the public with legitimate reason.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

In March the Financial Secretary to the Treasury and I wrote to the Premier of Bermuda asking him to set out plans and a timetable for the implementation of a central register of company beneficial ownership, or similarly effective system, to meet three criteria, including law enforcement access. Bermuda has had a central registry of company and trust beneficiaries since 1939. It includes all shareholdings above 10% compared to the 25% which is the threshold for the UK’s register. The information is updated in real time and is already shared with law enforcement and tax authorities on request. We remain of the view that a public central register is the best approach to improve company transparency.

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