Monday, November 2, 2009
The British Crown Dependencies have welcomed the findings of the UK government's review of the dependencies, published on October 29, which recognizes their economic benefit to the United Kingdom, and efforts to achieve compliance with international standards.
The report, authored by Michael Foot, examines the opportunities and challenges facing the British Crown Dependencies (Guernsey, the Isle of Man, and Jersey) and six Overseas Territories (Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Turks and Caicos Islands), with regard to:
Commenting on the release of Foot's findings, Financial Secretary to the UK Treasury, Stephen Timms stated that:
“I welcome Michael Foot’s report which comes amidst a real step change in the international determination to tackle tax and regulatory havens under the UK’s leadership of the G20."
He continued: "This report sends a strong signal to overseas financial centres that they must ensure that they have the correct regulation and supervision in place, while also ensuring their tax bases are more diverse and sustainable to withstand economic shocks – this is essential to their long term stability.”
In his report to HM Treasury, Foot highlighted that:
Responding to the report, the Isle of Man’s Chief Minister, Tony Brown, applauded the findings as a “positive, constructive, and independent assessment".
Brown commented: "We welcome its broad findings which recognise the work that the Isle of Man has done over the past decade and acknowledges that our actions to diversify our economy, measure and control public spending and build financial reserves during periods of economic growth have provided us with the resilience we have today.”
“It is especially pleasing that many of the main recommendations of the report align with policies the Isle of Man already has in place or is committed to implementing.”
Brown added: “I am also pleased that Foot was able to acknowledge that the Isle of Man makes a significant contribution to the UK economy, by providing a gateway to route funds to the City and by servicing the financial needs of many UK nationals living abroad.”
Geoff Cook, Chief Executive of Jersey Finance, commented:
"This latest review has demonstrated once again that Jersey’s financial services industry has good resilience in the face of a severe economic downturn, and that it has a regulatory regime of a high international standard, capable of evolving to meet changing global requirements. The positive findings of the British Offshore Financial Centres Review are a further endorsement in a year during which Jersey has been placed on the ‘white list’ by the OECD for meeting agreed international tax standards and been classed by the IMF in the ‘top division’ of international finance centres, for the quality of its regulatory and supervisory regime."
For his part, Guernsey’s Chief Minister Lyndon Trott said of the review that:
“In my view this report vindicates the position of Guernsey and the other Crown Dependencies. Foot finally confirms the issue that the three Crown Dependencies do provide a positive economic benefit to the UK.”
“Once again an independent expert has found Guernsey to be a favourable, compliant and transparent international financial centre, which can offer high quality professional services for the benefit of the global economy.”
Trott also welcomed comments from Lord Bach, Minister for the Crown Dependencies at the Ministry of Justice, who described the report as "considered and helpful".
“Bach has expressed his confidence that the Crown Dependencies will continue to lead in terms of meeting new financial standards. I too am confident that we will continue to be regarded as an example for other offshore financial centres to follow,” Trott concluded.