BusinessCompany NewsTax haven acts to combat money laundering

Tax haven acts to combat money laundering

The British Virgin Islands is taking steps to regulate deposits of 'bearer shares', which have been linked to money laundering.

Link: Sun sets on tax havens

Bearer shares are issued by international business companies, and allow these organisations to withhold information about directors and shareholders.

Now, the BVI’s Financial Services Commission will restrict the mobility of these shares by requiring them to be held by a custodian residing on the islands, so that information about them can be easily accessed by officials, according to the Financial Times.

Currently more than 350,000 such shares have been issued in the BVI.

The Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation and its sponsored body, the Financial Action Task Force, have campaigned hard for reforms to so-called tax havens to end money laundering, and terror financing.

Both have published blacklists of tax havens that do not comply, and these financial centres have been threatened with sanctions and having favourable tax treaties scrapped.

The BVI is no longer on the OECD list of uncooperative tax havens.

The OECD blacklist includes: Andorra, The Principality of Liechtenstein, Liberia, The Principality of Monaco, The Republic of the Marshall Islands, The Republic of Nauru and the Republic of Vanuatu.

The FATF blacklist includes: Cook Islands, Egypt, Grenada, Guatemala, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nigeria, Philippines, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Ukraine.

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