Bermuda Premier Craig Cannonier says he welcomes automatic exchange of information agreements with the United States and is committed to do the same with the United Kingdom.

He said in a press release: “Tackling tax evasion and fraud is a global priority which is necessary to protect the integrity of public revenues, the confidence of taxpayers in the fairness and effectiveness of their tax systems and ultimately public confidence in open global capital markets.

“Despite the increased attention given to confronting tax evasion and fraud over recent years, more pointedly through the development of international standards and the peer review process by the Global Forum, further action is needed to prevent evasion and clamp down on tax evaders.”

He said a critical step is the automatic exchange of information, which is being aided by technology.

“ The action taken by the United States under its Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) provides a unique opportunity to develop a new global standard in the near future and from that, to develop a system of multilateral automatic information exchange.

“Bermuda embraces this next step and has committed to entering into automatic exchange of information agreements with the United Kingdom to the same timetable as the agreements which we are currently finalizing with the United States.”

He added also key is the eliminating any remaining hiding places is to improve the availability of information on beneficial ownership.  

“The work of the Global Forum and the Financial Action Task Force has led to significant improvements but gaps still remain in many jurisdictions.

“Bermuda is determined to move forward with this agenda and will commit to review the effectiveness of our legal and enforcement framework and to produce an Action Plan, aimed at ensuring that we lead jurisdictions in respect of information and enforcement of rules on beneficial ownership.

“We look forward to working in close cooperation with the United Kingdom on these commitments and urge rapid development of new global standards in these areas.”