Bermuda opens up with company ownership register
◆ Bermuda is to unmask the true owners of companies in the territory following years of criticism and fears that secrecy could fuel international crime,
The beneficial owners of Bermuda’s 15,000 companies will be disclosed on a new register as international pressure grows on regulators to do more to combat and prevent financial crime. The British Overseas Territory plans to publish proposals within a year of a review of the EU’s fifth anti-money laundering directive, due in January 2022.
The Atlantic island previously resisted naming the owners of its companies, fearing such a move would damage its economy. Bermuda is one of the world’s largest insurance hubs, offering low tax, favourable regulation and easy access to America. UKregistered firms have been required since 2016 to keep a register of people with significant control to help boost transparency and combat fraud, corruption and money laundering.