Select Committee calls for Overseas Territories BO registers

The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee has published a report calling for beneficial ownership registers to be introduced in all British Overseas Territories by the end of 2020. The powers to do this were introduced in SAMLA and have caused controversy, with some territories saying the introduction of registers would adversely impact their financial services sectors and make them less competitive.  The Committee thinks that as a matter of national security it is important to address concerns that money tied to autocratic regimes has been connected with companies registered in these territories.  Notably, the Committee says. Gibraltar has already committed to publishing a register, and Anguilla is happy to cooperate, but Bermuda, the BVI and the Cayman Islands are not happy about the SAMLA provisions. The Committee notes that the FCO had indicated registers may not be in place until 2023, and says it is not acceptable that this should happen so long after the SAMLA deadline.


Emma Radmore