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Offshore review launched

03 December 2008
Categories: News , PBR 2008 , Pre-Budget Report 2008
Will be lead by former FSA boss

An independent review of British offshore financial centres has been launched by the Treasury.

The review, which was announced by the Pre-Budget Report, will be lead by the chairman of the UK office of the Promontory Financial Group of consultants, Michael Foot, and will look at immediate and long-term issues, including:

  • Financial supervision and transparency.
  • Taxation, in relation to financial stability, sustainability and future competitiveness.
  • Financial crisis management and resolution arrangements.
  • International cooperation.

The variety of existing constitutional arrangements in place across these offshore financial centres, such as independence in fiscal matters and the setting of their own rates of taxation, will continue to be respected, the Government has insisted.

Only crown dependencies and overseas territories with significant financial sectors will be included in the scope of the review: Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Turks and Caicos Islands, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla.

Welcoming the launch, financial services secretary Paul Myners, said: 'Offshore financial centres must play a responsible role in the global financial system.

'This review will take a serious and constructive look at the challenges these centres face in the current economic climate, and how they can best respond to these.'

Michael Foot is a former MD of the Financial Services Authority. He recently led an inquiry by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission into its handling of events relating to Northern Rock (Guernsey) and Landsbanki Guernsey Ltd.

He said: Michael Foot said: 'I am looking forward to working with [crown dependencies and overseas territories] to see how best the important contribution of their financial sectors can be underpinned and strengthened for the future in these challenging economic times.'

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