New legislation has been proposed in Bermuda under which companies there will be required to file changes to their beneficial ownership.
Companies are now being urged to review the proposals contained in a consultation paper on the subject, the finance ministry has said.
This is a first for local companies in Bermuda, where the current requirement is for such companies to file beneficial ownership information at the time of formation, with no obligation to provide updates.
The proposed amendments to the law aim to ensure that information about ownership of local entities is updated and accessible.
Opportunity to comment
A consultation process is underway. It is based on a paper issued by the finance ministry, ‘Proposed Revisions to Beneficial Ownership Disclosures’, and provides the business community with an opportunity to comment on the proposed changes.
The finance ministry, Bermuda Monetary Authority and the ministry of economic development prepared the consultation paper.
Deputy premier and minister of finance, Bob Richards, made it clear that Bermuda was responding to increasing international pressure, highlighted by the release of the so-called Panama papers, for fuller disclosure of companies’ beneficial owners.
“In response to growing demands for transparency from the global community, these 2017 amendments are to ensure Bermuda’s regime remains in good international standing for future generations,” he said.
As well as an obligation for all companies formed or operating in Bermuda to maintain a beneficial ownership registry, proposed amendments to the legislation include an expansion of the definition of beneficial ownership to reflect internationally recognised definitions now applicable for anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist funding purposes.
A copy of the consultation paper, ‘Proposed Revisions to Beneficial Ownership Disclosures’, is available here.
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