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Gibraltar opens up on ‘beneficial owners’

The Gibraltar Government has committed the Rock to the G5 imitative on automatic exchange of beneficial ownership.

Europe’s top five economies launched the ‘G5’ initiative in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal to curb tax fraud and money laundering by agreeing to share information on the “beneficial owners” of businesses.

It is fully expected by the G5 that further countries and territories outside the European Union will begin to participate as from next week.

Gibraltar’s commitment was contained in a letter sent by the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, on Thursday, the Government said in a statement.

This follows discussions between respective officials and a conversation between Albert Isola and the United Kingdom Financial Secretary, David Gauke MP.

The initiative is designed to be the global standard in the area of transparency in the same way as the Common Reporting Standard has become so in the field of automatic information exchange for tax purposes, which Gibraltar also joined in 2014.

Entities covered by this agreement will be those already identified in the 4th Anti Money Laundering Directive which Gibraltar is transposing, the Government confirmed.

“A critical part of the initiative on beneficial ownership requires a strict application of data protection and confidentiality by all countries and territories that participate.”

Mr Picardo said: “The Government’s position as regards international standards is clear; Gibraltar will adhere to internationally agreed principles of cooperation that deliver a level playing field and we are at the forefront of compliance along with the United Kingdom and other EU states.”


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