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Treasury launches inquiry into offshore firms

The Treasury select committee is launching an inquiry into offshore financial centres, inviting written evidence of fitness for purpose.

The Treasury says it has reason for concern over transparency and financial stability and is calling on responses to be in by Thursday June 19 at 12 noon.

There are a number of questions being posed, including the importance of offshore financial centres to worldwide financial hubs, potential threats to financial stability and levels of transparency of offshore financial centres as they pass through to the UK’s tax authorities and regulators.

It will also look at taxation policies of offshore centres and their impact on UK tax revenue and policy, potential involvement with terrorist activity and risks of tax evasion.

But Scottish Life International believes the announcement is too all encompassing and says findings would prove the regulatory robustness of offshore centres like the Isle of Man.

Chief executive David Kneeshaw says: “I think the levels of transparency, client information and our approach to issues like money laundering and understanding where our clients’ money is coming from are vastly superior to any financial organisations that work onshore.”

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