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Chief Minister welcomes statement on beneficial ownership

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

A statement in the House of Commons today has highlighted the Isle of Man’s cooperation in a review of the arrangements for the sharing of beneficial ownership information.

The Written Ministerial Statement has been published by the UK Government following the first review of the Exchange of Notes on Beneficial Ownership between the UK and the Isle of Man.

Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK has also welcomed the withdrawal of an amendment to the UK’s Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, which sought to create powers for the UK to legislate for the Crown Dependencies if they did not introduce public registers of beneficial ownership.

An Isle of Man Government delegation, led by the Chief Minister, travelled to London on Monday after Opposition amendments to the Bill were tabled last Thursday. Significant concerns were voiced about the implications of the UK Government legislating for the Isle of Man without its consent during discussions with Ministers, MPs and officials in Westminster.

The Chief Minister said:

‘I am encouraged that the constitutional position of the Crown Dependencies has been respected. We welcome the position the UK Government took on our behalf and their support in proposing a new amendment, although this was ultimately not allowed to be tabled.

‘A number of MPs spoke during the debate to acknowledge the importance of the Island’s status as a self-governing nation with our own democratically elected parliament and laws. There was also recognition of the Isle of Man’s efforts to combat serious financial crime and the fact that our central register exceeds current international standards and can provide law enforcement authorities with beneficial ownership information within one hour in urgent cases.’

Mr Quayle added:

‘A great deal of work takes place to raise awareness of the Isle of Man’s position as a responsible and forward-thinking member of the global community. We regularly travel to London to ensure that our voice is heard on important issues. Today’s outcome is the culmination of a period of intensive focus on the UK’s Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill since it was introduced last year and clearly demonstrates the benefits of our engagement work.’

The Written Ministerial Statement to the House of Commons outlines a commitment made by the Isle of Man in April 2016 to enhance long-standing arrangements for sharing information on the beneficial ownership of companies and other legal entities. 

Under the agreement, the Island pledged to establish and maintain a central electronic register of information to allow accurate and current information to be provided to law enforcement and tax authorities.

The Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey, together with six of the UK’s Overseas Territories, have worked closely with the UK during the six-month review of the implementation of the exchange of notes on beneficial ownership.

The review builds on many years of cooperation between the Isle of Man and the UK in respect of providing law enforcement and tax authorities with timely access to information about who owns and controls companies.

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