Ber­muda opens up with com­pany own­er­ship reg­is­ter

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - writes Michael O’Dwyer.

◆ 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.

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