UK drafts public BO order but happy with status quo

| 17/12/2020 | 7 Comments
Cayman News Service
Wendy Morton, Minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

(CNS): The UK government has now drafted an order-in-council regarding the introduction of public registers of beneficial ownership in the overseas territories. But foreign office minister Wendy Morton said in a written statement to the UK parliament recently that, given the commitments made by all the UK Overseas Territories, there is no need to enact it at this stage.

The Cayman Islands and the other impacted territories are all expected to have public registers by 2023 and the UK is campaigning to make that a global norm before that date. The need for territories to have public registers is as a result of the controversial passage in Britain of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2018. This law includes a requirement for UKOTS to have registers, and if they don’t do it voluntarily the UK government should force the issue.

“By introducing publicly accessible registers of beneficial ownership, the Overseas Territories are showing that they are responsible jurisdictions and a collaborative partner to the UK,” said Morton, Minister for the European Neighbourhood and the Americas, who appears to be stepping in to deal with the territories following the recent resignation of Baroness Sugg.

Morten said the territories with financial centres are sharing invaluable company beneficial ownership information with UK law enforcement agencies at short notice.

“A statutory review of these arrangements last year found that they are working well and are providing our law enforcement with invaluable information to support ongoing investigations,” she added. “In the light of the firm commitments from all of the inhabited Overseas Territories to adopt publicly accessible registers, the UK Government have decided that it is now not necessary to make the Order under Section 51, but will keep this under review.”

The Cayman Islands government has said it remains committed to the introduction of an open beneficial owners register in line with evolving international standards and global best practice.

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Category: Business, Financial Services, Politics

Comments (7)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I love the smell of BO in the mornings. It smells like … capitulation.

  2. Anonymous says:

    One thing is true the Progressives themselves without you know who have done well with the external political framewok and dealings with the UK. That said, their progressive local agenda ain’t worth the paper they used on their Manifesto.

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