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Independent Review into British Offshore Financial centres

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Released 02 December 2008

The Government today announced that Michael Foot, currently Chairman of the UK office of Promontory Financial Group, will lead the independent review of British offshore financial centres announced at Pre-Budget Report 2008. The review will look at the immediate and long-term challenges facing British offshore financial centres in the current economic climate, including:

  • financial supervision and transparency;
  • taxation, in relation to financial stability, sustainability and future competitiveness;
  • financial crisis management and resolution arrangements;
  • international cooperation.

The Government has been clear that the variety of existing constitutional arrangements in place across these territories will continue to be respected, including their independence in fiscal matters and the setting of their own rates of taxation.

Welcoming the launch of the review, the Financial Services Secretary, Paul Myners, said:

"I welcome the appointment of Michael Foot who brings significant experience in financial regulation to this task. Offshore financial centres must play a responsible role in the global financial system. This review will take a serious and constructive look at the challenges these centres face in the current economic climate, and how they can best respond to these. “

The Minister for the Crown Dependencies, Lord Bach, said:

"This Review is an opportunity for the Crown Dependencies to demonstrate their strong track record in the regulation of their financial services industries. The Review will allow the Crown Dependencies to participate in an open debate about how they can best be equipped to withstand the current difficult economic climate without calling into question their constitutional arrangements. In this regard, I am pleased to see that the Review specifically excludes constitutional change from its scope."

The Minister for the Overseas Territories, Gillian Merron MP, said:

I am impressed by the positive discussions I have had with the Overseas Territories on financial services regulation recently, and hope that the review may be helpful to those overseas territories, with significant financial services industries, to prepare for the challenges of the future.

Michael Foot said:

After working as a financial regulator in the UK and overseas, I have direct experience of the achievements of the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories. I am looking forward to working with them to see how best the important contribution of their financial sectors can be underpinned and strengthened for the future in these challenging economic times.”

Notes

1.        The full terms of reference were developed following consultation with the Governments of the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories and are available on the Treasury’s website

2.       The PBR announcement of this review can be found at paragraphs 3.55 and 3.56 of the PBR . The Chancellor’s speech is also available.

3.       The Review aims to produce interim conclusions for Budget 2009, with fuller conclusions later in the year. Mr Foot will make further announcements on the timetable and framework for the review in due course.

4.       Only those Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories with significant financial sectors are included in the scope of the review. In scope are: Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Turks and Caicos Islands, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla. Out of scope are: Falkland Islands, Montserrat, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena.

5.       Crown Dependencies' and Overseas Territories' reaction to the announcement can be found on their websites: Jersey , Guernsey , Isle of Man  and British Virgin Islands

6.       UK Government is committed to working with international partners (including Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories) in seeking global solutions to current economic circumstances. UK’s international engagement has been guided by The Prime Minister’s 5 principles of transparency, in relation to risks and balance sheets; integrity, and the absence of conflicts of interest in the system; responsibility of management for the risks they undertake; sound banking practices, with respect to risk and capital adequacy; and coordination across borders in recognition of global markets.

7.       Biographical details for Michael Foot:

  • Michael Foot is currently the Chairman of the UK office of Promontory Financial Group.
  • Following an extensive career in the Bank of England and FSA, Mr. Foot joined Promontory from the Central Bank of The Bahamas, where he was Inspector of Banks & Trust Companies from 2004 to 2007.
  • From 1998 to 2004, Mr. Foot was a Managing Director of the Financial Services Authority.
  • Mr. Foot was one of the architects of the FSA during an illustrious career at the Bank of England.
  • During his 29-year tenure at the Bank of England (1969 to 1998), Mr. Foot held a number of posts, including head of the European and Foreign Exchange Divisions, Head of European Division and Head of Banking Supervision Division.
  • He became Deputy Director, Supervision & Surveillance in July 1994.
  • In 1996, he was named one of the four Executive Directors, with responsibility for banking supervision.
  • Mr. Foot earned an undergraduate degree in economics at Cambridge University, and a master's degree at Yale University.
  • He was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2003.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-12-03 16:15:37 in Tax Articles

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