Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua & Barbuda says he is open to amending laws on banking and information sharing if that’s what’s necessary to comply with OECD demands.
The OECD this week released a “blacklist” of 21 jurisdictions they consider to have a high risk of CRS-evasion because the countries in question have both low taxes and RCBI-programs. At the top of that list – strictly for alphabetical reasons – was Antigua & Barbuda.
Reacting to the listing, Prime Minister Browne stated that he considered the concerns legitimate and that he was committed to ensuring the country was in compliance.
“Even without any formal request from the OECD to make the amendment, we will on our own volition, at the next sitting of Parliament, amend the relevant laws that will force these individuals to report all their banking dealings under the current reporting standards,” said Browne, according to the Antigua Observer.
“Several months ago,” he added, “we passed the Beneficial Ownership Law in which the beneficial owners of all companies must be disclosed, because one of the things these individuals did in the past, they were able to use directors and shareholders to literally hide the assets here and in other jurisdictions.”
The PM further noted that it was in his country’s best interest to cooperate as far as possible in order to “keep out of the crosshairs of the OECD, European Union,
The last two weeks have been turbulent for the RCBI-industry, as investment migration programs across the world, but especially in Europe, have been the subject of criticism – only parts of which are well-substantiated – from the European Commission, the European Parliament, Transparency International, OCCRP, and the Guardian.