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
- 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
"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
full terms of reference were developed following consultation with the
Governments of the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories and are available
the Treasury’s website
2. The PBR announcement of this review
can be found at paragraphs 3.55 and 3.56 of the
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
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,
5. Crown Dependencies' and Overseas
Territories' reaction to the announcement can be found on their websites:
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
7. Biographical details for Michael Foot:
- Michael Foot is currently the Chairman of the UK office of Promontory
- 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
- 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