Press release from Bahamas Financial Services Board and Association of International Banks & Trust on Tuesday, February 18, 2020:
BFSB and AIBT welcome the news of the European Union's Economic and Financial Affairs Council's complete removal of the Bahamas from its list of Non-Cooperative Jurisdictions for Tax Purposes, at their meeting in Brussels today. This was done in recognition of The Bahamas having implemented all of the necessary reforms to meet the EU criteria on tax governance and tax cooperation. The move by the EU underscores The Bahamas' commitment to adhere to global regulations and international best practices as a necessary reform to address concerns regarding economic substance, removal of preferential exemptions and automatic exchange of tax information.
Industry stakeholders welcome today's decision and the positive impact we anticipate that it will have on the financial services sector and on investor confidence generally. We commend the Bahamas government, in particular the team at The Ministry of Finance, for its collaborative approach, steadfastness and ongoing dialogue with industry bodies such as BFSB and AIBT to ensure that practitioners understand the nature and reasoning for the various reforms and have a say in the implementation process. This evidences commitment to public private sector partnership.
Throughout the entire process of reform, The Bahamas has demonstrated commitment at the highest political level to ensuring that as jurisdiction we comply with international standards on information exchange, tackling harmful tax practices, dismantling artificial tax structures and prevention of financial crime which is critical to our value proposition as a well-regulated international finance center. We look forward to continued stakeholder engagement on these issues, the development of a strategic plan for the sector and other emerging international initiatives to ensure that we persist in repositioning the financial services sector for long term viability.
The Bahamas was one of sixteen (16) jurisdictions that the EU determined had passed legislation to meet EU tax good governance principles, while four (4) new jurisdictions were added to the list of non-cooperative tax jurisdicions.