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Overseas territories jittery over register

| 21/07/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): Cayman is not the only British overseas territory that has concerns about the UK government’s push for open access across all the territories regarding the beneficial owners of the companies, trusts, funds and other financial institutions that are registered offshore. UK Prime Minister David Cameron is planning an open register for Britain wants the former colonies to follow suit, and although the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has said that how this happens is a matter for the territories, the pressure is on for full and open access to all. However, the financial services sector in many territories is increasingly jittery over this issue.

But as Britain pushes for a public register, the territories are pushing against. During the Pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting, held in Cayman last week ahead of this year’s major gathering of territory leaders in London in December, the matter was a key part of their talks. Cayman is still in the process of consulting with the industry and stakeholders on this controversial area, and Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin said all the territories’ leaders will be proceeding with caution and will not commit to take part in a fully open register at this stage.

The broad sentiments about the issue in Cayman were echoed by other BOT leaders, and speaking at a press briefing following the gathering of the leaders in Cayman, Fabian Picardo, Gibraltar’s chief minister, said the truth about the standards regarding retaining information in the territories needed to be told as he said the OTs had set the standard were well ahead of the game.

“That is something I think is almost exclusive to the overseas territories and demonstrates how we have led in that field,” he said. “It appears there are many different attitudes to how to ensure that going forward the world is able to match those standards the Overseas Territories have set. Something that is not popular to recite in the international media, but it is important that the truth does come out,” he added.

Related article on CNS: Passport issue tops JMC meet

Pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting

(L-R) Anguilla Premier Hubert Hughes, BVI Premier Orlando Smith, Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin, Falkland Islands MLA Roger Edwards, Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and Montserrat Premier Ruben Mead.

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Category: Finance, Financial Services

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