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Offshore Trusts Report: Bermuda

Legal Framework And Formation Rules and Fees

Trust management has been a significant activity for Bermuda for more than fifty years. Originally the main sources of trust business were the UK, the USA and Canada, but more recently other parts of the world have become increasingly important, as understanding of the trust concept has spread more widely. Successive tightenings of anti-avoidance legislation in the traditional markets have also tended to reduce volume.

Bermuda has kept up to date with international trust practice but has been cautious about asset protection trusts, and the Bermudan legislation has attempted to draw a sustainable balance between the interest of the settlor and the creditor, rather than going all out for protection like many jurisdictions.

Bermudan trusts have traditionally been governed by The Trustee Act 1975 which is largely based on the English Trustee Act 1925. The Trusts (Special Provisions) Act 1989, another significant statute, introduced the concept of the "purpose trust" and brought Bermudan law still closer to English law. The Perpetuities and Accumulations Act 1989 increased the perpetuity period to 100 years. Foreign inheritance laws are specifically excluded, and there is provision for the non-recognition of foreign judgements.

Bermuda has adopted the Hague Convention; the Trusts (Special Provisions) Act 1989 made some consequent adjustments to the law. Appeal is to the English Privy Council.

In general, trustees need not be resident in Bermuda; but one must be. The trust fund may comprise cash, land, securities, interests in property or other trusts. Non resident trusts are not permitted to hold Bermuda currency, shares or security in local companies, or an interest in land in Bermuda without the prior consent of the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas Barbados Bermuda British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Cook Islands Cyprus Gibraltar Guernsey Isle of Man Jersey Liechtenstein Madeira Malta Mauritius Monaco Nevis New Zealand Panama Seychelles Turks & Caicos Vanuatu

Bermuda News

Bermuda Discusses Rental Tax Proposal, Tax Data Exchange
Tuesday 12/2/2019
Bermuda's Government has stated that proposals for a rental income tax, detailed in a pre-budget report, were released as part of a consultation exercise and that the proposal for the levy has not been confirmed or formally announced. A decision on whether to include the measure in the Budget will be revealed when it is presented to parliament on February 22, 2019, it said.

Cayman Islands Named Leading Specialized IFC
Friday 8/9/2017
The Cayman Islands has again been named the world's number one specialized financial center by the Banker magazine, part of the Financial Times Group.

Bermuda, EU To Collaborate On Insurance, Pensions Oversight
Tuesday 17/1/2017
The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and the Bermuda Monetary Authority have newly signed a memorandum of understanding.

Bermuda Passes Raft Of Business-Related Bills
Thursday 4/8/2016
Over the past 15 months Bermuda has passed nine legislative bills to modernize the island's legal framework, create new growth opportunities, and ensure the territory remains internationally competitive.

OFCs Join G5 Beneficial Ownership Initiative
Monday 25/4/2016
Bermuda, Gibraltar, and the Isle of Man Governments have agreed to support an initiative on the automatic exchange of beneficial ownership information, which is being spearheaded by the five largest economies in the European Union.

Bermuda Trust Companies Receive STEP Awards
Wednesday 16/9/2015
Two Bermuda trust firms have claimed top industry prizes at the prestigious 10th annual STEP Private Client Awards in London.

Strong Demand For Bermudan IBCs
Thursday 19/6/2014
Bermuda has reported healthy growth in both offshore and local company registrations, including a 21 percent year-on-year increase in the use of international business companies.

Offshore Company Formations Have Slowed
Wednesday 7/8/2013
The majority of offshore jurisdictions experienced a decline in company incorporation activity in the second half of 2012 compared with the first half, according to legal services consultancy the Applebly Group.

Bermuda Relaxes Beneficial Owner Reporting Rules
Tuesday 26/2/2013
The Bermuda Monetary Authority has announced that it has increased the threshold above which beneficial owners of stakes in companies or partnerships, or companies that are subject to exchange control requirements, must disclose personal information to the Authority, to 10% from 5%.

Former Banking Head To Lead Cayman Finance
Friday 8/2/2013
Cayman Finance, the organization formed to represent the Cayman Island's financial services industry, has confirmed the appointment of Gonzalo Jalles, the former head of HSBC Cayman, as Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect.