UK government pushes tax haven jurisdictions to register beneficiaries

By in

The government in the UK peruses the idea of forcing tax havens through legislation to reveal the ownership of offshore companies in an effort to fight corruption.
Sir Eric Pickles (pictured) has recently characterised the behaviour on behalf of some of the former colonies as “simply unacceptable” following the Prime Minister’s implicit comments that the efforts to tackle tax evasion and money laundering have lead nowhere so far.

Despite the fact that the self-governed crown dependencies and overseas territories are partially subject to UK legislation, they resist on any pressure from the prime minister’s side to adopt public registers of beneficial ownership, which would reveal the true controllers behind tax havens’ companies.

Public registers are widely considered to be the key factor in the fight against international corruption and tax crime.

“How to get there, through legislation, guidance or naked pressure, the prime minister is pretty determined to get there”

– Sir Eric Pickles, British Conservative Party

The possibility of legislation is expected to raise pressure on jurisdictions such as the Cayman and the British Virgin Islands, both of which have publicly refused to adopt the registers, despite the deadline distributed by the Treasury and Foreign Office, which orders them to present an implementation plan by November, 2015.

Sir Pickles warned that “London will not be a place where blood-stained dictators can spend their twilight years” and promised to stand up to his mission to oppose corruption, adding that “I want to see this through and there’s nothing they can do to stop me.”