Premier Responds To Prime Minister’s Letter

May 22, 2013

Bermuda is “recognized internationally for its integrity and transparency as a centre for legitimate international business,” Premier Craig Cannonier said today.

The Premier was speaking after British Prime Minister David Cameron wrote a letter urging British overseas territories — including Bermuda — to “get their house in order” and sign up to international treaties on tax.

“With one month to go, this is the crucial moment to get our own houses in order,” Mr Cameron wrote in the letter. “I respect your right to be lower tax jurisdictions … but lower taxes are only sustainable if what is owed is actually paid.”

The territories which received the letter are Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Anguilla, Montserrat, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

Mr. Cameron urged all of the overseas territories to sign international protocols designed to allow tax information to be shared more easily between countries, and also to take measures to improve their own transparency.

“Put simply, that means we need to know who really owns and controls each and every company,” he said.

The Premier said, “Prime Minister Cameron is keen to underscore Britain’s position on fighting tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance through tax information exchange and access to information on beneficial ownership of companies.

“Bermuda has no qualms with this. We are already there and we continue to keep abreast of developing standards. The combined work of the Ministry of Finance and the Bermuda Monetary Authority over several decades now has put Bermuda amongst the leading countries in relation to tax information exchange and KYC or ‘know your customer’, which includes having access to information on beneficial ownership companies.

“As you know, Bermuda for decades has required companies seeking to incorporate in Bermuda to file beneficial ownership information with the Bermuda Monetary Authority; many of our peer jurisdictions have not caught up in this area,” continued Premier Cannonier.

“Further, we have recently passed legislation to license all Corporate Service Providers [CSPs] in Bermuda and bring them under the umbrella of the Proceeds of Crime Act that imposes the FATF [Financial Action Task Force] standard on beneficial ownership.

“Bermuda is recognized internationally for its integrity and transparency as a centre for legitimate international business. Our job now is to grow the economy again, create jobs and new wealth for Bermudians. That is our priority,” concluded the Premier.

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  1. Xman says:

    All the Premire had to say is “New Political Party is running Bermuda now
    the likes of Dr.Evil and his crew is gone -
    were looking to do it and get it right.”