Guernsey Finance backs PM’s offshore tax havens crackdown

GUERNSEY FINANCE has supported a crackdown on the improper use of offshore tax havens announced by new Prime Minister Theresa May.

Theresa May becomes PM

Mrs May has said, not for the first time, that she wants to ‘reform capitalism’, her comments particularly linked to the BHS collapse, and the actions of former owner Sir Philip Green and his wife, who used private companies registered offshore.

Two Commons committees said that the use of offshore companies at BHS had reduced ‘corporate transparency’ and Mrs May’s spokesman said she was determined to curb ‘irresponsible and reckless behaviour’ by businesses. She is understood to have instructed officials to consider moves to ban certain offshore tax arrangements.

Plans could be drawn up by the autumn.

‘I believe we should welcome the report of the Committee of Public Accounts as part of the UK’s ongoing fight against tax evasion,’ said Guernsey Finance chief executive Dominic Wheatley in response.

‘Guernsey is not a tax haven and we do not look to condone or facilitate tax fraud in any way. We strongly believe that all tax should be paid where it is due and that international finance business should be conducted in an open and transparent way that provides tax authorities with the access to relevant data to enable them to ensure that this happens. That is why Guernsey has been an enthusiastic disciple to the international initiatives to ensure proper levels of transparency in international finance.'

Comments for: "Guernsey Finance backs PM’s offshore tax havens crackdown"

Beanjar

Every time we 'crack down' to appease the UK, EU or USA we lose more jobs to less transparent finance centres abroad. Why don't we show some guts and tell them sort out their own tax havens first? Why am I even having to fill in forms to satisfy the US government (when I have no US interests at all) whilst 'Delaware companies' continue to stink away to high heaven?

It is rank hypocrisy and bullying. Every time GFSC spouts off on this subject it sounds exactly like turkeys voting for christmas! Foreign jurisdictions will never be satisfied, not until the Channel Islands has reverted back to knitting jumpers and growing toms.

Jake

Searched but could not find where it said that we will be cracking down to appease anyone, just that the GFSC will welcome the report. There is a lot of tax evasion that goes on in the UK but that doesn't mean we should sit by let it happen here. As a finance centre with a global reputation we have to maintain that reputation by constantly shouting "yes we are complying with what is needed" or be labelled a tax haven. Kind of like the reaction some have with the Muslim community in the UK. They haven't said they don't support ISIS in the last week so maybe they are terrorists now. Yes it's silly and childish but that's people for you!

Torteval voice of reason

Despite making ourselves just about the most over regulated place to do business on the planet with as many staff engaged in "compliance" activities and employed by the regulator as actually attending to client affairs, we will always be perceived to be a shady tax haven with people wandering around with suitcases of cash - that is the steotypical image and it is unlikely it will ever be shaken off

- it seems that Guernsey Finance and the GFSC (and the Industry as a whole) seem to have a stock response of trying to add a positive spin to every nail in the coffin the comes our way by trying to paint what is patently a huge negative into some kind of positive for the island - so we now "welcome" the efforts of the UK PM taking punitive measures against offshore tax havens - and welcome the opportunity to enter into information exchange agreements. We will get to the point (if we haven't reached it alread) where the costs of doing business simply outweigh any advantage there might be for it being here.

Beanjar

Thats pretty much what banking people I know have told me. And, for what its worth, virtually all of them have now left the island one way or another.

Jake

Surely shutting down offshore tax havens would bring us more business as long as we don't get mixed in with the tax haven label.

Island Wide Voting

Jake

Any workable ideas on how we can get rid of the long established tax haven label?

Jake

None, short of educating the masses on what a tax haven actually is. Most seem to think that it's anywhere a company sets up that isn't in their own country especially if there are other financial institutions set up there. Then again most people are not financial professionals and that lack of knowledge in the area tends to lead to the conclusion 'they are obviously doing something dodgy to disadvantage me in some convoluted way'. To quote agent K in men in black "a person is smart; people are dumb".

Felix

I have two definitions ....a place where the populace expect gold plated public services without having to put their hands in their pockets! Or a place where people with a capitalist life style want the benefits of a socialist one!