WASHINGTON, D.C. — Lawmakers in the United Kingdom voted Tuesday to require their offshore territories to establish systems by 2020 mandating companies to disclose their true owners at the time of formation. The new rules, which will bring transparency to companies formed in notorious secrecy jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and the British Virgin Islands, were welcomed by the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition, a non-partisan alliance of more than 100 state, national, and international organizations in the U.S. promoting policies to combat the harmful impacts of corrupt financial practices.
The FACT Coalition noted that the move increases pressure on U.S. policymakers to take action against anonymous shell companies registered domestically.
Gary Kalman, the executive director of the FACT Coalition, issued the following statement:
“Today, the United Kingdom took important steps to crack down on a number of the world’s most infamous places to hide illicit cash. The Cayman Islands, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands and others will soon put an end to the abuse of anonymous companies.
“Corrupt leaders and individuals will no longer be able to hide behind the veil of corporate secrecy available to them in the U.K.’s offshore territories.
“That money will have to find a new place if the bad actors are to stay ahead of law enforcement and national security officials.
“It is not a stretch to expect that a flood of illicit cash is about to pour into the U.S. financial system. It’s not the kind of investment we should welcome.
“The U.S. is already one of the top places in the world for drug cartels, human trafficking operations, rogue nations and corrupt leaders to hide and hold the proceeds of their crimes. The 2018 Financial Secrecy Index ranked the U.S. second only to Switzerland. As the rest of the world moves toward transparency and accountability, we may well become the top haven for dirty money.
“Congress should move immediately to protect the integrity of our financial system. They should pass bipartisan legislation to end anonymous companies.”
Deputy Director, The FACT Coalition
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Notes to Editors:
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