Plans to include legislation requiring companies to declare publicly who are their true owners in a crackdown on tax evasion and money laundering have been welcomed.
But the UK’s “tax havens” – overseas territories and Crown dependencies such as the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Jersey – should follow the British Government’s lead and establish a similar register said Joseph Stead of Christian Aid.
He said: “We are pleased that the Government appears to have listened to our arguments on how the tax evasion and corruption that phantom firms facilitate is costing developing countries vital resources for tackling poverty. The UK has the opportunity to set a new gold standard on transparency of company ownership.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable has signalled that legislation requiring companies to declare publicly who are their true owners is be included in the Queen’s Speech. Cable confirmed ministers are ready to go ahead with plans for an open, publicly available register of beneficial ownership of firms in a drive against what he called the “darker side of capitalism”.