Tax havens to reveal ownership details

Eight UK overseas territories say they will allow public access to their company ownership registers, as part of a commitment to tackle illicit finance, by 2023.

The eight are: Anguilla, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, the Falkland Islands, Montserrat, the Pitcairn Islands and St Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Gibraltar has already made the move (in March) to improve transparency, and the government says it is hopeful that the last remaining territory, The British Virgin Islands, will make a similar commitment soon.

Foreign Secretary, Dominic Rabb, said: “This is an important step forward by governments from across the Overseas Territories. I welcome the leadership to improve corporate transparency, and the message it sends about the need to tackle illicit finance globally.”

The government already has arrangements with the overseas territories whereby they provide UK law enforcement authorities access to information on the ownership of companies in their jurisdictions. This information improves the ability of law enforcers to detect money laundering and financial crime.