Premier Dunkley: Beneficial Ownership Registry

December 2, 2015

[Written by Don Burgess]

Premier Michael Dunkley called on the UK to make progress in its own registry for beneficial ownership.

The Premier, who is in London for the Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council [JMC] meetings, told Bernews that Bermuda is an “open jurisdiction and access has not been denied to appropriate sources who are looking to get information”.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has been calling on the Overseas Territories — in particular Bermuda, the Cayman Island and the British Virgin Islands — to have registers where UK law enforcement and tax authorities can have unfettered access company beneficial ownership information.

Beneficial ownership is a person who enjoys the benefits of ownership even though title is in another name or any individual or group of individuals that, either directly or indirectly, has the power to vote or influence the transaction decisions regarding a specific security.

Premier Dunkley said this was one of the most important issues at the JMC.

He said it was the one he would “like to seek some comfort all around on”. He said Prime Minister David Cameron has been very vocal about wanting “progress from the OTs”.

Premier Dunkley added Finance Minister Bob Richards has spoken eloquently “about our position on beneficial ownership. We’re comfortable where we stand as an open jurisdiction and access has not been denied to appropriate sources who are looking to get information.

“We’ll continue to be a jurisdiction with good regulation and good oversight — We told the UK that. We also told the UK we’re going to be watching very closely and look forward to their progress in making their own register a reality sometime next year.”

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  1. Land Man says:

    How can beneficial ownership begin to be considered when even finding out the legal ownership of title to land is still shrouded in mountains of paperwork and red tape?
    DESPITE parliament enacting the Land Title Registration Act in December 2011…. (that’s FOUR YEARS ago), the Act is still not in force and there is no register of title to land, no guarantee of legal ownership and no state protection of land rights. The UK has had a land title registry for over 150 years!!! Why does Bermuda not have one, despite the will of parliament?