Tax havens inquisitor appointed

The government had announced that Michael Foot, the current chairman of the
Promontory Financial Group in the UK, is to head up the review of offshore tax
havens announced in the pre Budget report.

The review comes after increasing criticism of offshore havens, such as
Jersey and Guernsey, and will look at transparency, regulation and taxation
issues. Some observers have predicted the review could spell the end of offshore
tax havens as we know them.

Paul Myners, the financial services secretary said on the appointment:
‘Offshore financial centre must play a responsible role in the global financial
system. This review will take a serious and constructive look at the the
challenges these centres face in the current economic climate, and how they can
best respond to these.’

The tax haves included in the review are Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man,
Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Turks and Caicos Islands, British Virgin
Islands, Anguilla.

The government hopes to produce a preliminary report before the Budget next
year and will work to draw firm conclusions before the end of 2009.

Promontory is a consulting business advising financial services companies on
regulation, risk controls, liquidity needs and, among others, conducting
internal investigations.

Foot said: ‘After working as a financial regulator in the UK and overseas, I
have direct experience of the achievements of the Crown Dependencies and
Overseas Territories. I am looking forward to working with them to see how best
the important contribution of their financial sectors can be underpinned and
strengthened for the future in these challenging economic times.’

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