Bermuda Rejects UK Parliament Vote Requiring Company Public Register Disclosure By 2020

The Government of Bermuda notes the passage of the amendment in the House of Commons, UK, to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill requiring that named overseas territories including Bermuda (with also Anguilla, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands; and Virgin Islands) create public registers of all businesses registered there.

Bermuda’s Premier and Finance Minister, The Hon David Burt JP, MP said: “The action taken in the UK Parliament today signals a retrograde step in the relations between the United Kingdom and the Overseas Territories. In the case of Bermuda, after fifty years of constitutionally sanctioned internal self-government it is regrettable that we see this ‘about face’ which fails to acknowledge this long history of enshrined democratic freedoms. The Government of Bermuda maintains that the constitutional position is clear and we will take necessary steps to ensure our Constitution is respected.

It is well known that Bermuda already has some of the most responsive and comprehensive registers of beneficial ownership of companies registered in this jurisdiction and that those registers are updated in real time on every share transfer. This has been the position for almost 80 years.

This information has long been available to legitimate international competent authorities via the OECD Multilateral Tax Convention which has a 117 participating countries. In 2016, we agreed to share beneficial ownership information as requested by the National Crime Agency and HMRC within 24 hour turnaround or one hour for urgent enquiries.

Bermuda sets the standard in this area and our reputation for sound regulation is well established and internationally recognized.”

(Source: Government of Bermuda)

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