In November, the Treasury published its Pre-Budget Report 2008: Facing global challenges: supporting people through difficult times. The following is an excerpt from that publication in which the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, announced an independent review of offshore financial centres:
BRITISH PROTECTORATE OR CROWN DEPENDENCY OFFSHORE FINANCIAL CENTRES
British Virgin Islands
Isle of Man
St Kitts and Nevis
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Turks and Caicos
"Many crown dependencies and overseas territories are significant financial centres in their own right and the financial sector plays a vital role in their economies. The Government recognises the progress made by most offshore financial centres to improve financial regulation and transparency, and tackle financial crime. However, crown dependencies and overseas territories, like all offshore financial centres, face challenges and opportunities as the world is changing. In particular, severe financial turbulence has raised questions for all jurisdictions, while there is growing international pressure to line up standards of financial regulation and meet international norms with regards to taxation.
The Government will shortly commission an independent review of British offshore financial centres; their role in the global economy; and their long-term business strategies. The review will not consider changes to the UK's constitutional relationship. It will work with the crown dependencies and overseas territories to identify current and future opportunities, risks and mitigation strategies, including issues such as:
- financial supervision and transparency
- fiscal arrangements
- financial crisis management and resolution arrangements
- international co-operation."