Prime Minister David Cameron has told other Members of
Parliament that it is unfair to refer to Guernsey as a tax
In responding to a question from Labour MP Fiona O'Donnell
in the House of Commons, following his statement on the recent G20
summit in St Petersburg, Mr Cameron recognised the positive steps
taken by Guernsey and the other Crown Dependencies in relation to
international transparency and cooperation.
Mr Cameron said: "I do not think it is fair any longer to
refer to any of the Overseas Territories or Crown Dependencies as
tax havens. They have taken action to make sure that they have fair
and open tax systems. It is very important that our focus should
now shift to those territories and countries that really are tax
havens. The Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories, which
matter so much - quite rightly - to the British people and members
have taken the necessary action and should get the backing for
Guernsey's Chief Minister, Peter Harwood, has welcomed Mr
"I welcome the Prime Minister's acknowledgement that
the label 'tax haven' is one that is not applicable to
Guernsey. As the Prime Minister's recent letter to me
recognised, Guernsey has shown leadership on tax transparency for a
number of years, and continues to do so. Guernsey is not a tax
haven, and nor is it a secrecy jurisdiction - it is a transparent
and open international finance centre."
Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance - the
promotional agency for the Island's finance industry
internationally, said she hoped the Prime Minister's comments
would bring an end to Guernsey's connection with the label
"The Prime Minister has rightly pointed out that we are not
a secretive jurisdiction and that the tax haven label shouldn't
apply," said Miss Le Poidevin.
"Hopefully his comments will not only bring an end to the
label's use, but also raise awareness among the wider UK public
about the level of contribution that Guernsey and the other Crown
Dependencies make to the UK economy. The UK Deputy Prime Minister,
Nick Clegg, made similar comments last year when he pointed out
that we were 'an important gateway for the wider financial
sector and indeed the economy in the United Kingdom'.
"In his open letter to the Overseas Territories and Crown
Dependencies in May, ahead of June's G8 summit, Mr Cameron said
he respected our right to be a lower tax jurisdiction which we
appreciated as, just like the Prime Minister, we do not condone tax
evasion. We would like to think that his latest comments will put
the notion that Guernsey is a tax haven to bed and instead paint it
as the cooperative and transparent international finance centre
that we are."
Many people are baffled by trusts, the purpose of which they don't fully comprehend. Some even regard them with suspicion, as tools of of opaque tax evasion strategies of a type favoured by wealthy individuals.
We were recently instructed by a Bank in relation to a regulatory matter. The Bank had made a suspicious activity report to the Financial Investigation Unit ("FIU") due to their concerns about the potential source of funds in an account.
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