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St Vincent & Grenadines To Review Offshore Sector In 2001

Mandy Robinson, Tax-news.com, London

15 December 2000


St Vincent & the Grenadines' Prime Minister Arnhim Eustace, who also holds the finance portfolio, has announced plans to conduct a a comprehensive review of its offshore sector in 2001.

Prime Minister Eustace explained that the review was part of a series of planned measures in an attempt to meet international standards which also includes further training of staff at the Offshore Authority.

In response to the jurisdiction's blacklisting by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which deemed the country to be uncooperative in the fight against money-laundering, the
St Vincent & Grenadines' government revoked the licences of six offshore banks and revised two pieces of a draft of offshore legislation.

Prime Minister Eustace said that although registration of trusts and mutual funds had not been affected, there was a decline in the number of international business companies registering so far for the year. The number fell from 2,728 in 1999 to 2,164 in late 2000.

But PM Eustace is hopeful, and stated: 'We will be in a much better position to determine the real impact of the blacklisting of this country come January and February next year, when a substantial number of offshore entities will have indicated their willingness to renew and to maintain their registrations in this jurisdiction.'

In September of this year a delegation of the country's officials met in Washington with US staff of the Departments of Justice, Treasury, State and Finance, at which time PM Eustace said 'errors made by the FATF in its assessment of this country were discussed and the efforts of this country in the fight against international crime were emphasized.'

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