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Anguilla Introduces New Financial Services Legislation

Lisa Ugur, Tax-news.com, London

27 September 2000


The Anguillan government announced last week that it has enacted a range of new financial services legislation, which is designed to attract more new business to Anguilla and strenghten the regulation of the jurisdiction's financial services.

First and foremost, the new legislation sets out to address the issue of money laundering. It includes the Proceeds of Criminal Conduct Act 2000 (PCCA), which the government says 'deprives criminals of the benefit of their criminal activity and enables the Court to confiscate assets originating from criminal conduct. It also establishes the circumstances under which suspicious transactions should be reported.'

The government has also followed in the footsteps of several other jurisdictions by establishing a Money Laundering Reporting Authority for Anguilla via the Money Laundering Reporting Authority Act 2000 (MLRAA). Under the act, persons involved in the provision of financial services are required to report to the Authority any suspicious transactions derived from drugs or criminal conduct. Under the MLRAA, procedures are established for customer identification, the keeping of records, internal reporting and training procedures. Guidance notes issued in conjunction with the Act aim to 'assist all financial services businesses to develop policies, systems, controls and procedures that will minimise their risk of becoming unwittingly involved in money laundering schemes.'

In addition to this legislation, the government is introducing two new laws - the Company Management Act 2000 and the Trust Companies and Offshore Banking Act 2000 - to replace existing legislation. The former provides for licensing and regulation of company management business by setting minimum criteria for the granting of a licence, and a further provision allows for exchange of information with overseas regulatory authorities. The Trust Companies and Offshore Banking Act 2000, which replaces the Offshore Banks and Trust Companies Ordinance 1991, sets out the duties of licensees of banks and turst and the minimum criteria for the granting of a licence. It also enables the surrender, suspension and revocation of licences.

Finally, the Anguillan government has amended certain existing legislation. The laws affected are the International Business Companies Act 2000, the Companies Act 2000, the Limited Liability Company Act 2000 and the Limited Partnership Act 2000.

John Lawrence, Director of the Financial Services Department of the government, said: 'The new legislation is part of the Government's determination to effectively match the growth of Anguilla's financial services with robust and progressive laws that meet international regulatory standards. Our innovative on-line company registration system, ACORN, further enhances regulation as it is overseen by my department. Anguilla's reputation for being a proactive and well-regulated jurisdiction will be reinforced by these new laws."

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