Press Release / June 15, 2013

UK havens move on corporate secrecy (but how far to be determined)

The UK Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories have announced that they will produce action plans to ensure that they meet the international standards on beneficial ownership transparency. 

Gavin Hayman, Director of Campaigns at Global Witness said: “The credibility of this move hinges on the action plans. This is the first time that the havens have got together to discuss rolling back corporate secrecy so that's positive but we want to see them and the G8 match David Cameron’s transformative commitment to creating registries of the beneficial owners of companies, with a preference for making these publicly available.

"Only by putting this information in the public domain will we really roll back the frontiers of corporate secrecy. If journalists, civil society and individuals throughout the world could see who ultimately owns and benefits from a company’s activities, they would be in a position to support law enforcement efforts to put a stop to money laundering, tax avoidance, drug smuggling, arms running and state looting”.

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In London, Robert Palmer on +44 20 7492 5860, +44 7545 645 406, 
[email protected] or Rosie Sharpe on +44 20 7492 5854, +44 7850 733 681, [email protected] or Gavin Hayman on +44 7843 058 756. In Washington DC, Stefanie Ostfeld on +1 202 621 6674, +1 202 577 5858, [email protected].

Notes to editors:
To read more about why hidden company ownership is a major barrier in the fight against poverty and what to do about it, read Global Witness’ briefing Anonymous Companies: