UK parliament was due to debate a bill which would require the UK’s crown dependencies to introduce public registers in order to bring about greater transparency in the hope of preventing illicit financial flows. However, the government has subsequently withdrawn the debate on the bill from the House of commons schedule. Partner Neil Swift says ,“ Clearly there are constitutional implications if Westminster tries to impose public registers on the crown dependencies, such a step being variously described as anything from “colonialist” and “undemocratic” to “unprecedented”. To date, rather than legislate, the UK’s approach has been to negotiate and persuade.” He adds, “ There are also concerns about the economic consequences likely to flow from the imposition of public registers in the absence of a global standard and level playing field. For those seeking privacy, the imposition of public registers in one jurisdiction will simply move the issue elsewhere.” Read more

This article was first published for IBA Global Insight online news analysis, 15 April 2019, [available at www.ibanet.org] and is reproduced by kind permission of the International Bar Association, London, UK. © International Bar Association.