15 March 2010

New Anguilla Government Addresses Financial Sector


       Joint Statement of Chief Minister and Governor of Anguilla

Anguilla to shortly sign TIEAs with Germany and Australia and had also initiated discussions with the French authorities about a TIEA with France.

The Valley, Anguilla - Joint Statement: Anguilla’s new Executive Council held their first discussion on financial services, a key economic sector in Anguilla, on 11 March. They noted the importance of the sector to Anguilla: it is responsible for approximately 6% of employment and typically generates around 12% of Anguilla’s GDP.

Before the elections the Government set out, in the AUM manifesto, their commitment to strengthen and promote this important sector. They also pledged to ensure that Anguilla is firmly established on the “white list” of countries engaged in international financial services. The government have also pledged to update the institutional, legal and regulatory framework governing the international financial services sector. The Governor, who has oversight of the regulation of international financial services under the Constitution, fully supports all these aims and will be working in partnership with the Government to take them forward.

In this context EXCO noted that the Chief Minister would shortly be signing Tax Information Exchange Agreements with Germany and Australia to bring the total of TIEAs signed by Anguilla to a thirteen. The Chief Minister had also initiated discussions with the French authorities about a TIEA with France.

At the EXCO meeting the Hon Hubert Hughes, Chief Minister and Finance Minister, and HE Alistair Harrison, Governor of Anguilla, agreed to establish a Taskforce to ensure that Anguilla meets the highest international standards for financial services, thereby enhancing Anguilla’s competitiveness as a financial services provider.

The Taskforce, chaired by a senior representative of the Ministry of Finance, will develop a scorecard recording Anguilla’s compliance with international standards and a timeline for action. The Taskforce will review the recommendations of the Foot report, published in late 2009, in relation to financial regulation, fighting financial crime and improved tax transparency. The report usefully sets out benchmarks against which Anguilla can assess compliance with international norms. The Taskforce will consult fully with representatives of the industry as it pursues its work and will report in three months.

The Foot report also emphasised that accurate revenue forecasting and close monitoring of public expenditure become even more critical in difficult economic times. The Government of Anguilla is working hard to make improvements in these areas and is exploring ways to diversify sources of revenue, control public expenditure and ensure value for money so that Anguilla has sufficient reserves in place to withstand external shocks.

Anguillanews.com Note:

The Task Force membership will be representatives of the Ministry of Finance, Governor’s Office, Anguilla Financial Services Commission and the Attorney General’s Chambers.

Editor's Context:

Anguilla is among several countries blacklisted by France as countries it considers to be tax havens and that Paris would impose heavy taxes on its domestic firms that have operations in countries on the list. Other regional countries on the French off-shore blacklist include Grenada, Belize, Dominica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. The blacklisted countries are Anguilla, Belize, Brunei, Costa Rica, Dominica, Grenada, Guatemala, the Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Liberia, Montserrat, Nauru, Niue, Panama, Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines.