LONDON, England, UK – It was another blow for the British Overseas Territories (OTs) in the Caribbean today Monday, May 21, 2018, as the House of Lords of the United Kingdom Upper House let stand the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, with the amendment passed by the Lower House on May 1, 2018.
The amendment will allow by 2020 all offshore accounts to have a public registry of their beneficial ownership.
It means that the Virgin Islands (VI) will have to implement a publicly accessible register of beneficial ownership of companies by January 1, 2020, however, Crown Dependencies and the rest of the world do not have to comply with this.
It will result in the undermining of the VI's main revenue earner, causing the local economy to collapse, massive layoffs in government and the private sector, and residents living in poverty.
It was in January of this year that the same House of Lords voted down the amendments on a public registry, but today May 21, 2018, despite support from some Lords for the OTs' position they let the Commons Bill stand by accepting via content the decision on a public registry.
March is on
It means now that Her Majesty The Queen will assent to the Bill, bringing it into law.
In response the people of the Territory has organized a march on Thursday, May 24, 2018, to demonstrate to the ‘mother country’ the local public objections to singling out of the OTs in the region while the world is not held to that same standard of a public registry for beneficial ownership.