Tax havens still shrouded in secrecy, says Christian Aid
Christian Aid campaigners wearing business suits and white masks outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Westminster, London today have demanded faster progress towards tax haven transparency.
A year after Britain’s tax havens agreed to consider the lifting the secrecy around who really owns the hundreds of thousands of companies they host, they have made alarmingly little progress and many criminals will rest easier as a result, a new Christian Aid assessment has warned.
Ministers from the Overseas Territories – which include the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda – are holding their annual conference in London this week.
Joseph Stead, Senior Economic Justice Adviser at Christian Aid, said: “Over the last year, so little has changed that it is hard to believe the Overseas Territories were genuine in their commitment to consider public registers of who owns companies. In April the Prime Minister reminded them that ‘the rest of the world is watching’ but they seem to be stalling in the hope that their promises will be forgotten.”
At last year’s meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council, which brings together political leaders from the Overseas Territories and UK Ministers, all the territories agreed to hold public consultations on creating public registers of who really owns companies.