Call to target British havens

British investigators and prosecutors should be deployed to enforce
money-laundering and other financial regulation in tax havens operating among
the 14 remaining British overseas territories, the
Public Accounts Committee
has urged.

In a report it called on the FSA, the Treasury and the Serious Organised
Crime Agency ‘to deploy their expertise and capacity jointly’ to manage risks in
financial centres.

MPs also urged greater efforts to improve public accountability arrangements
amid evidence that state bodies handling billions of dollars are up to six years
in arrears producing reports and lack accountancy expertise.

Seven of the territories run offshore financial centres with Bermuda, the
Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands of ‘high importance’ in the global
financial system.

But it warned while these three have achieved major improvements in
regulatory capacity since 2000, there is ‘a serious risk of money laundering’ in
the smaller territories.

The FCO agreed more needs to be done, but stressed the self-governing nature
of the territories and accepted their evolution as tax havens to diversify their

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