Pauline Latham – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Pauline Latham on 2015-11-04.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will ensure that any agreement on a central registry of beneficial ownership in Bermuda includes access for the public with legitimate reason.

James Duddridge

In March the Financial Secretary to the Treasury and I wrote to the Premier of Bermuda asking him to set out plans and a timetable for the implementation of a central register of company beneficial ownership, or similarly effective system, to meet three criteria, including law enforcement access. Bermuda has had a central registry of company and trust beneficiaries since 1939. It includes all shareholdings above 10% compared to the 25% which is the threshold for the UK’s register. The information is updated in real time and is already shared with law enforcement and tax authorities on request. We remain of the view that a public central register is the best approach to improve company transparency.