On 1 and 2 December 2015, the political leaders and representatives of the UK and its 14 Overseas Territories met in London to discuss financial services, international co-operation in tax matters, beneficial ownership, and other matters.
According to a communiqué released by the UK Joint Ministerial Council, all of the Overseas Territories agreed to the following:
- A full commitment to international co-operation in tax matters, and to fight against money laundering, tax evasion, illicit finances, and corruption.
- Adherence to bilateral and multilateral agreements, implementation of the FATF standards, and enforcing legal instruments in everyday practice.
- A commitment to sustaining successful international finance centres.
- Acknowledgement of the importance of bilateral engagement on matters affecting Territories’ financial services sectors.
- Beneficial ownership information will be held in their respective jurisdictions via central registers or similarly effective systems―this is in sharp contrast to the original proposal by Britain that all such information be transmitted to a central registry located in and controlled by the UK.
They discussed the details of how the financial control and compliance systems above should be implemented, and agreed that addressing those issues would be given the highest priority and kept under continuous and close review.