14:50 GMT +324 April 2019
Listen Live
    One of the new British 10 pound notes is posed for photographs outside the Bank of England in the City of London, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017.

    British Government About-Face on Offshore Tax Havens

    © AP Photo / Matt Dunham
    Europe
    Get short URL
    140

    Many of the most secretive hideaways for the world’s richest people are former British colonies and Crown dependencies.

    British Parliamentarians have accepted an amendment put forward by a cross-party group of MPs requiring British Overseas Territories to establish public registries of the wealth held on their territories by foreign citizens.

    The new measures will enable Britain to pressure its overseas territories such as the Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands to publicly declare the identities of individuals whose money is located in their jurisdictions without law enforcement having to request such information. 

    The anti-corruption campaign group Transparency International lauded the move by Parliament members in a statement say, "This is very welcome news that the UK will finally be able to open up the financial centres in the British Overseas Territories. These jurisdictions have long been the Achilles Heel of our defences against dirty money. Agreement on this represents a hugely significant moment in the fight against corruption, not just in the UK but around the world. This afternoon, corrupt individuals everywhere will be deeply concerned that they are about to lose the secrecy afforded by the British Overseas Territories that has until now given them an easy route to launder their ill-gotten gains."

    It is estimated that approximately US$122.45 billion worth of corruptly obtained funds are laundered every year in the United Kingdom itself every, according to estimates by the National Crime Agency.

    Pressure to increase financial transparency in Britain's Overseas territories has grown since the revelations of Mossack Fonseca in 2017 which exposed the holdings and investments stored in offshore jurisdictions by wealthy figures, politicians and even the British Royal Family. 

    Related:

    IMF Mulls Global Cryptocurrency Rules to Block International Money Laundering
    US Prosecutors Probing Global Sports Corruption: Racketeering, Money Laundering
    UK Clamps Down on Bitcoin in Fight Against Money-Laundering and Tax-Evasion
    Row as EU Commission Money Laundering Blacklist Rejected Again by Parliament
    Tags:
    Tax Haven, money laundering, royal family, corruption, Mossack Fonseca & Co, House of Commons, Transparency International, United Kingdom, Panama
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik