As published on hindustantimes.com, Thursday 16 July, 2020.
Eight of the UK’s overseas territories have made a commitment to allow public access to their registers that show who owns companies in their jurisdictions as part of a move to tackle illicit money, the Boris Johnson government said on Wednesday.
The eight territories 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. The government said it expects access to the registers by 2023.
Welcoming the commitment, the government said it is hopeful the only remaining permanently inhabited territory not to make an announcement, the British Virgin Islands, will make a similar commitment soon. The territories have their own governments that allow them to decide on issues such as tax and registering companies ultimately owned by foreign nationals and whether to make the ownership registers public or not. The government has been campaigning to make such registers a global norm by 2023. “This information improves the ability of law enforcers to detect money laundering and financial crime,” officials said.