Category: FATF

Is a register of beneficial ownership of companies coming?

As part of the global transparency push, the G20 has committed to implement rules requiring the disclosure of beneficial ownership of legal entities (in addition to automatic exchange of financial account information and the BEPS related transparency measures). On 13 February 2017, Treasury released a consultation paper dealing with part...

Tax amnesty in line with global efforts to fight BEPS: Minister

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has said the ongoing tax amnesty program was in line with global efforts to prevent and combat tax base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) and would not accommodate any money laundering efforts. Tax amnesty programs have brought benefits to the many countries that have implemented...

New Zealand extends anti-money laundering rules to capture property agents

New Zealand will extend its anti-money laundering laws to cover real estate agents and other professions amid fears the country has become a soft target for illegal fund flows that have also helped inflate the property market. Soaring property prices have become a hot issue among the New Zealand public...

Consul insists Panama is fighting tax evasion

The consul of Panama, John A. Gauci-Maistre, writing on behalf of the Panamanian foreign ministry has rejected claims that the country is a tax haven. “Panama is committed to the fight against money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion,” he said in a statement. It was pointed out that last...

Would the real tax havens please stand

“It is tantamount to an economic blockade”. That’s how Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, described the current withdrawal from Caribbean indigenous and offshore banks of correspondent relationships by US banks. His sentiments were echoed by Dean Barrow and Freundel Stuart, the prime ministers of Belize and Barbados respectively....

Dispelling offshore myths

Although the British Virgin Islands is often seen as an offshore tax haven, a closer look shows such opinions may be overstated There is a stereotypical image of the so-called ‘tax haven’ for ‘shady people to put their money’. While it is true that BVI Finance enjoys warm, sunny weather...

Raising revenue off Caribbean backs

THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (DC) recently enacted, as part of its budget, provisions that force entities doing business in any of 39 arbitrarily designated “tax havens” to report their income on worldwide combined reporting. Eighteen are Caribbean jurisdictions. A tax haven is defined by the DC code...

The UK’s Registry of Beneficial Ownership

According to Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the United Kingdom “is at the forefront of a dramatic increase in transparency about company ownership” in developed countries. However, it is the UK which is going to provide the testing ground for...

British Virgin Islands: Proposed Amendments To BVI Business Companies Legislation

The BVI Business Companies Act 2004 (“BCA“) is shortly due to be amended by the BVI Business Companies (Amendment) Act 2015 (the “Amendment Act”). As well as keeping the British Virgin Islands (“BVI“) corporate regime at the forefront of compliance with international standards, the Amendment Act is intended to provide...

Countering terrorism financing through anti-money laundering measures

It is time for re-regulation; Europe is strengthening its AML/CFT measures in order to lower current terrorist financing (TF) risks. “Money is the lifeblood of terrorist operations,” declared George Bush after the 9/11 attacks. French finance minister Michel Sapin has beaten the same drum when he recently claimed that “the...

SA ranks higher than Nigeria in illicit outflows

SOUTH Africa ranks seventh among developing countries in terms of illicit financial outflows, a Washington-based research organisation has found. Illicit outflows from the country are of great concern to the Treasury, which has introduced a number of measures to curb it, particularly the outflows achieved through profit shifting by large...

Illicit money flow from developing world surged to $1.1 tn in 2013, says GFI

WASHINGTON Illicit financial flows or black money from developing and emerging economies surged to US$1.1 trillion or a staggering 4 percent of the developing world’s GDP in 2013, according to a study released Wednesday by Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington, DC-based research and advisory organization. The cumulative illicit outflows...

2015- The end of tax neutral jurisdictions

On 18 June 2013, the Progressive led government issued a press release titled, “Cayman’s Action Plan Includes Beneficial Ownership”. The press statement came on the heels of the UK taking over the Presidency of G8, at the 17-18 June 2013 G8 Summit in Northern Ireland. The most interesting part of...

Park calls for careful adjustment of monetary policy

President Park Geun-hye called Monday for a careful adjustment of monetary policies of advanced countries amid lingering worries over a potential Fed rate hike. Last month, the U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates at near zero due to global headwinds but suggested that it could raise rates by the end...

Cayman Islands: Urgent! CRM Considerations On The CRS

The “heads up” for Reporting Financial Institutions on foreign investors’ limited voluntary disclosure opportunities Nearly one hundred jurisdictions (Participating Jurisdictions) have already committed to participate in the CRS promulgated by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Most of them have committed to be “early adopters” of the CRS...

Federal Council adopts Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance

Bern, 11.11.2015 – During its meeting today, the Federal Council adopted the Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance (AMLO). It will enter into force on 1 January 2016. In February 2012, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published the revised international standards concerning the combating of money laundering and terrorist financing (FATF recommendations)....

New Zealand: Foreign Trusts and Cross-Border Planning for Individuals

The New Zealand foreign trust regime – its use in international wealth planning The New Zealand “foreign trust” regime came into being over 25 years ago. It arose from a domestic initiative to make the use of offshore trusts for tax minimisation more difficult for New Zealand residents, by imposing...

The Ministry of Finance proposed to soften the terms of the Amnesty

Moscow. November 10. The Finance Ministry has prepared proposals aimed to strengthen Amnesty of capital, which is now actually fails, reports the newspaper “Kommersant”. The law on the voluntary Declaration by individuals of assets and accounts, is known as the law on the legalization or Amnesty of capital, earned from...

Implementation problems in connection with the FATCA Agreement

The BMF has application letter sent to the chief financial authorities of the countries associated with the between the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America concluded by 31.5.2013 FATCA Agreement. Background Background of extensive, comprehensive 71 pages, application letter from the Federal Ministry of Finance on...

Commentary: In face of ‘tax haven’ attack, CARICOM must unite

No member state of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) ranks among the top 20 jurisdictions worldwide for financial secrecy. The United States of America (at number 3), Germany (8), Japan (12) and Britain (15), all rate as bigger tax havens than any CARICOM jurisdiction, according to the Tax Justice Network (TJN),...

In face of ‘tax haven’ attack, CARICOM must unite | Sir Ronald Sanders

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Friday November 6, 2015 – No member state of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) ranks among the top 20 jurisdictions worldwide for financial secrecy. The United States of America (at number 3), Germany (8), Japan (12) and Britain (15), all rate as bigger tax havens than any CARICOM...

Israel looks to join int’l anti-money laundering task force

A Financial Action Task Force (FATF) delegation visits Israel this week to consider Israel’s application for membership. “Israel is working tirelessly to upgrade its standing as a regional leader in the struggle against money laundering and financing of terrorism through persistent regulatory changes and a more effective regime. Up until...

Breaking News: The Gambia Is On The Verge Of Finalizing A Deal With Hong Kong Based Companies To Open An Offshore Bank In Banjul!

The rogue regime in Banjul is on the verge of finalizing an Offshore Banking deal with some Hong Kong multi-million dollar companies, the Freedom Newspaper can reveal. Under the new deal, the Jammeh government is going to open an Offshore Bank in The Gambia, with the primary objective of helping...

Gibraltar’s acceptance into Moneyval’s Anti Money Laundering Processes and Procedures is an important achievement – Isola

Gibraltar has for many years extending long before December 2011 sought to be accepted within Moneyval. The Govt today announce that confirmation has now been received that henceforth Gibraltar will be subject to MONEYVAL’s mutual evaluation processes and procedures. Moneyval was established in September 1997 by the Committee of Ministers...

CAB requests the removal of named Caribbean territories on US “Tax-haven” list

PRESS RELEASE – The Caribbean Association of Banks Inc. (CAB) is once more forced to express its deep concern over yet another “tax-haven” list which includes 15 Commonwealth Caribbean countries. The referred list appears within the District of Columbia’s 2015 Budget Support Act which expands the definition of “tax haven”...

Senior lawyer suggests simple solution to anti-money laundering law arbitrage opportunity, says judgment against FMA well constructed and logical

The four entities tasked with upholding New Zealand’s anti-money laundering law should team up to close off the law’s obvious arbitrage opportunity by stopping financial services companies that only have clients overseas from being able to sidestep the law, a leading lawyer says. As first highlighted by interest.co.nz in August...

Guernsey: What Guernsey Can Offer Chinese HNWIs’

In September 2014, the Hurun Research Institute published its annual listing of the richest people in China. It showed that IT tycoon Ma Yun had increased his personal fortune during the last year by 500% to $25 billion and in doing so, had climbed to first position on the list....

Panama reviews AML, tax info exchange legislation

Panama’s Presidential High Level Commission for the Defense of International and Financial Services (CANDSIF) recently held a meeting to review the country’s progress on improving tax transparency and combating money laundering, reports Tax News. In particular, CANDSIF reviewed legislation passed earlier this year as part of Panama’s commitment to address...

European Union: The Future Of Trusts In The Context Of The 4th AML Directive

The following article by Dr Monica Galea John, partner in the Financial Services Department, analyses the manner in which the Fourth EU Anti Money Laundering Directive (the “Directive“) which has just made its way through the EU’s legislation, obliges, for the first time, EU member states to maintain central registers...

OECD report commends BVI’s transparency standards

The Government of the British Virgin Islands is pleased to announce that The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has been rated “Largely Compliant” for its approach to tax transparency and exchange of information, in the Supplementary Peer Review report published by The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for...

Cayman Islands: Fiscal Transparency In The Cayman Islands

Introduction The Cayman Islands have an extremely open, accountable and transparent government and regulatory system. Despite the dated stereotype, the Cayman Islands have promoted transparency regulations and initiatives for many years.  In May 2000, the Cayman Islands made commitments to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (the “OECD“) to...

Kenya and U.S. Agree Deal On Stringent Measures to Stem Runaway Corruption

An agreement signed between Kenya and the American government could introduce new drastic measures in curbing corruption and help seal loopholes in the dwindling war against the vice in the government. But the initiative could dampen hopes of Cabinet secretaries mentioned in various corruption scandals of ever getting back to...

Tax amnesty: an opportunity to be seized or a further challenge for business to tackle?

On 8 June 2015, the Law “On optional declaration of assets and bank accounts (deposits) by individuals” (the “Capital or Tax Amnesty Law”) came into force. It was announced as part of the deoffshorisation campaign and opens a window of opportunity for the business community to declare “grey” assets without...

Hong Kong Consults On Cross-Border Cash Controls

As part of its framework of measures on anti-money laundering and the counter-financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), Hong Kong’s Security Bureau has launched a three-month public consultation on the establishment of a reporting system on the physical cross-boundary transportation of large quantities of currency and bearer negotiable instruments (CBNIs). A spokesman...

Worldwide: Privacy: What’s Left?

A seismic change in the international private wealth arena is under way. Over 90 jurisdictions have committed to automatically exchange comprehensive financial information on an annual basis under the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard (CRS). The CRS will start in 2016 in over 55 jurisdictions. This article comments on the CRS...

Dirty Dealing: China and International Money Laundering

In the midst of turmoil in the Chinese stock markets, one serious problem that may appear is increased currency outflows created by current and potential investors who would rather move their assets to foreign countries viewed as safer havens. Money laundering should be under close surveillance. Chinese involvement in money...

Taking on the dodgy offshore financial service providers; One lawyer’s recipe to remove their stain from NZ’s reputation

Cleaning the stain off New Zealand’s international reputation put there by misbehaving NZ registered but overseas operating financial service providers could be accomplished quite simply, says Minter Ellison Rudd Watts partner Lloyd Kavanagh. “I think the solution is simple. If you’re on the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR), I think...