A major reform to force UK tax havens to reveal who really owns the myriad companies they host is certain to become law, following the agreement yesterday in the House of Lords.
Simon Kirkland, Christian Aid’s UK Parliamentary Adviser said: “After years of wrestling against basic transparency, the Overseas Territories will now have to catch up with the rest of the UK.
“This is good news for people in poor countries, who suffer because of corruption and other crime, and bad news for everyone with dirty money to hide.
“The UK Government should respect the spirit as well as the letter of the new law, and ensure it ends the Overseas Territories’ shameful role as safe havens for the proceeds of crime.
“Christian Aid and the many others that campaigned for this reform will be watching, mindful that the current UK Government and Overseas Territories fought hard for the status quo.”
The Lords’ vote today follows a sensational victory in the House of Commons on 1st May, when a cross-party alliance of MPs led by Margaret Hodge and Andrew Mitchell forced the UK Government to amend its Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill.
Mr Kirkland added: “Now that both Houses of Parliament have agreed to these measures, the UK Government should step up and provide much more support to the Overseas Territories, to help them in their transition towards transparency.”