The measure is one of five published today which pledge to tackle money laundering, the financing of terrorism, tax evasion, fraud, corruption and related criminal activity within the international community. It follows last Saturday’s Open for Growth: G8 transparency event.
Chief minister Allan Bell emphasised that legislation was already in place to ensure that full and accurate details were maintained on the true ownership and control of every company, trust and fund registered on the island.
However, he added: “…in response to the G8 initiative we have further agreed to review this existing provision to determine whether a centralised registry would improve transparency of the ownership and control of companies in the Isle of Man."
The Manx Action Plan was published at the same time as those countries launching Action Plans at the G8 Summit in Lough Erne.
Other measures outlined by the jurisdiction included pledges to further cooperate with external compliance assessors as well as carrying out a national assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing risks.
The jurisdiction also pledged to continue to play ‘an active role’ with organisations promoting international cooperation to counter illicit financial flows. In its plan the island also said it would also ‘continue to negotiate and enter into international tax cooperation agreements.’
The Isle of Man has led the way in widening the net for greater transparency on international tax issues by being the first small jurisdiction to participate in both the US and UK Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA). Under FATCA, UK taxpayers with specified foreign financial assets that exceed certain thresholds must report those assets. The jurisdiction was also the first of the Crown Dependencies to commit to the EU Pilot.
Bell said adhering to agreed international standards was essential to maintain the jurisdiction’s position as a finanicial centre committed to attracting quality, legitimate business.
He said: “We have an economic as well as ethical interest in preventing our financial services industry, and our reputation as a whole, from being undermined by criminal activity.”
Click here to download a copy of the Action Plan