OT Register Amendment Withdrawn In UK

April 27, 2017

Legislation in the British House of Lords that would have forced Bermuda to make public a long standing register of corporate beneficial owners, has been withdrawn, the Ministry of Finance confirmed today, with the Minister of Finance calling it “a good day for Bermuda.”

“Bermuda is the only country known to have an up-to-date register detailing the ultimate owners of its registered companies, maintained for more than 70 years,” a spokesperson said.

“Local officials provide the information to authorities of other governments by request.

“The call in Britain is for every country to have such a register, but that it be open to the public. Bermuda is willing to conform, but only if it becomes the world standard.

“As the only jurisdiction with a long-standing up-to-date list, it would be disadvantageous for Bermuda to be forced to make its register public, before other jurisdictions comply.

“This week’s legislation was a proposed amendment to the Criminal Finance Bill before the legislature, which would have attempted to force compliance from Bermuda and five other Overseas Territories.

“The proposal was eventually withdrawn in favour of a government amendment requiring UK authorities to report on the effectiveness of beneficial ownership information sharing between the UK and Overseas Territories by July 2019.

“The London office collaborated with other OT UK Representatives and officials within the UK Government, working in strategic partnership to address the Amendment. Support was derived from Home Office Ministers Baroness Williams and Ben Wallace which led to the British Government’s successful alternative Amendment.

“The Criminal Finance Bill was a priority of the UK Government in tackling financial crime. Bermuda and both sides of the UK Parliament welcomed the passage of the legislation through both Houses of Parliament.

“During the debate, the Earl of Kinnoull spoke highly of the BMA and Bermuda as a reinsurance centre.”

Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance Bob Richards said, “This is a good day for Bermuda. I am pleased that we have won this battle, although I can expect that this issue will return again.

“While the UK has indicated that it will implement its own beneficial ownership list of British companies and make it public, they are at the beginning of the process that we’ve had in place for several decades.

“It would have been detrimental to Bermuda’s international business to be the only country with a complete register and be forced to make it public. Few other countries have registers of any kind. Bermuda is a leader in the issue of beneficial ownership and continues to comply with global standards.”

“The Ministry of Finance team and our office in London have been successful over several years informing UK legislators and others of the true facts related to issues that threaten our business. The Bermuda Monetary Authority and the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee have also been integral to our cross-border outreach.”

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Comments (8)

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  1. aceboy says:

    Well done Minister Richards.

    You PLP fanbois and girls probably have no clue how significant this is, basically it means the Trust and private client industry will survive in Bermuda.

    Without that there would be significant job and confidence loss in Bermuda.

    Be grateful it was Bob Richards dealing with this and not the likes of Wayne (Can I sing you a song) Furbert.

  2. Aqua Cadit Resurge says:

    Why?

  3. Aware says:

    Might be worth people noting that the Earl of Kinnoull lived and worked in Bermuda for 3 years (on a work permit) before inheriting his title. He is paying us back handsomely today for his experience on our island.

    A lesson to consider when we criticize our guest workers.

  4. Silke says:

    Double the debt as this present Finance Minister has done in three and a bit years, no 2000 new jobs to produce the economic growth to sustain this debt let alone pay for it, give away an airport we have competently run for seventy plus years – well pretty soon there will not be many worthwhile companies on the register to have to worry about this… And by the way, if you think they are arrogant now, you ain’t seen nothing compared to how they will be if they win one more.

    • jt says:

      Debt up and deficit down. Now tell us how that happened and why.

    • aceboy says:

      You are so ignorant. Best to keep quiet and stop showing it. Most of the new debt was used to retire the old debt that had unfavourable interest rates attached to them. The OBA restructured the debt so we pay less interest by taking the loans you claim have added to the debt. It hasn’t at all.

      We have completely RUN DOWN the airport for seventy years and after the new one is built it remains ours.

      Jobs are coming, particularly in relation to that project.

      • Silke says:

        Without the name calling (we all know what that is)- the Sovereign US$ debt of Bermuda is over a billion higher than when this Government started – it took the last guys fourteen years to get the amount that Bob has racked up in under four years. Interest is lower because rates have dropped, no other reason and they are now on the rise. Now how do you propose we go about repaying the principle?

        Apart from not delivering the 2000 promised new jobs, the OBA are in fact stifling Bermudian owned business with Bob’s additional taxes whilst giving the place away to any foreign outfit that pretends to make jobs… Jobs that Bermudian firms (say D & J or McAlpine)would gladly and competently take on. Oh and by the way, read the fine print about the new airport – anything under 600,000 passengers a year and we pay them, a real possibility as it happens.

  5. Vote for Me says:

    Brilliant result for Bermuda.