Response to UK Opposition Leader Mr Edward Miliband
Posted February 08 2015
Hamilton February 7, 2015 – The Government of Bermuda notes the reported comments of Mr Edward Miliband, Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition in the UK, in relation to tax avoidance and British Overseas Territories (OT), and his wish to enforce better levels of transparency and disclosure should he achieve office in the May 2015 General Election.
The Government of Bermuda is “surprised and disappointed” that the Island has been included in the list of referenced territories which lack openness in such areas as ultimate beneficial ownership of companies.
It should be noted that Bermuda has in fact had a central registry, of the kind being introduced in the UK, since the 1940s, and has been a leader internationally in this area.
While the UK is proposing to introduce a central beneficial ownership register, Bermuda, in fact, has actually had one which automatically updates itself since the 1940’s and we continue to be an international leader in this area.
The Premier of Bermuda, the Hon. Michael H. Dunkley JP, MP, said: “The Government of Bermuda remains open to continuing dialogue with the UK Government, the UK Opposition, and all other interested parties, in sharing best practice across borders in areas of corporate transparency, and the fight against fraud and crime.
“We would also remind Mr. Miliband of Bermuda’s strategic economic contribution to the UK, which includes direct and indirect employment in the UK of 100,000 people, as well as our role as a global hub for the reinsurance and insurance industries, providing the critical underwriting required for damage arising from natural disasters and terrorist events.”