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Policy group sees threats and opportunities

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Bermuda is to continue work on strengthening and enhancing its reputation as a well-regulated offshore jurisdiction.

The Financial Policy Council, a group that advises the Ministry of Finance and the Bermuda Monetary Authority on financial system stability in Bermuda, has met for the fifth time since it was formed in late 2015.

At the meeting, council members reviewed international developments and discussed the impact these might have on Bermuda's financial stability. They identified and assessed risk and opportunities.

The main topic was the threat to Bermuda from a growing wave of criticism directed at the tax policies of the jurisdiction. These criticisms were sometimes broadly directed at smaller international centres, overlooking Bermuda's high regulatory standards.

Discussions also included ongoing changes in the international landscape with Brexit negotiations, proposed reforms in the US tax system, OECD initiatives, and European Union tax policy initiatives targeted against so-called low and no income tax jurisdictions.

Council members urged the Government to continue to pursue its proactive stance and constructive engagement with relevant parties such as the OECD and the European Union.

The most recent threat that was given close scrutiny by the council was an initiative by the EU to develop a common system for listing of non-co-operative jurisdictions or a “blacklist”.

According to a communication issued by the Bermuda Government, the island will strive in the coming months to ensure that the EU fully understands Bermuda's tax framework and the proactive actions being advanced.

The council also reviewed work under way by the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee towards strengthening Bermuda's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing framework in advance of the 2018 Caribbean Financial Action Task Force Mutual Evaluation of the island's regime.

Members of the council are Bob Richards, Minister of Finance, Sir Andrew Large, Jeremy Cox, CEO of the Bermuda Monetary Authority, Sir Courtney Blackman, Michael Butt, Dame Amelia Fawcett and Gil Tucker.

Advice and guidance: members of the Financial Policy Council are Sir Courtney Blackman, far left, Bob Richards, Minister of Finance, Jeremy Cox, BMA CEO, Sir Andrew Large, Michael Butt. Not pictured are members Dame Amelia Fawcett and Gil Tucker (Photograph supplied)
Dame Amelia Fawcett, a member of the Financial Policy Council (Photograph supplied)

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Published May 18, 2017 at 7:08 pm (Updated May 19, 2017 at 12:14 am)

Policy group sees threats and opportunities

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