British Overseas Territories: Companies

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 1st June 2022.

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Photo of Richard Holden Richard Holden Conservative, North West Durham

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to prevent companies from using lower regulatory standards in (a) Bermuda, (b) British Virgin Islands and (c) Cayman Islands to (i) take advantage of loopholes and (ii) avoid scrutiny from shareholders.

Photo of Amanda Milling Amanda Milling Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The Overseas Territories including Bermuda, British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands are self-governing jurisdictions with their own democratically elected governments, who are responsible for their own financial services policy. The Overseas Territories cooperate with the UK on taxation, fighting financial crime and sanctions enforcement. They are committed to meeting international standards on illicit finance, tax transparency and anti-money laundering including those set by the OECD, the Financial Action Task Force and regional standards set by the EU. In 2020, the Financial Action Task Force issued an excellent rating following an evaluation of Bermuda's regulatory regime for combatting money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation. The Overseas Territories also continue to share valuable company ownerships and tax information with UK law authorities, under the invaluable Exchange of Notes process. It was information shared by an Overseas Territory which enabled the UK's first Unexplained Wealth Order.

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