Bermuda Industry Groups Applaud EU Decision

HAMILTON, Bermuda–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bermuda?src=hash” target=”_blank”gt;#Bermudalt;/agt;–Bermuda’s global industry groups have welcomed today’s decision by the
Economic & Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) in Brussels to remove
Bermuda from a list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions after all
sectors worked collaboratively with Bermuda’s government and regulator
to ensure a successful result.

“We applaud today’s decision and appreciate the expedited review by
ECOFIN,” said Stephen Weinstein, Deputy Chair of the Bermuda Business
Development Agency (BDA). “We’re thankful for the efforts of our Premier
and Finance Minister to engage with the EU and provide transparency into
Bermuda’s world-class regime. Our jurisdiction’s updated regulatory and
legislative framework mirrors existing practices in our international
business market, exemplifying the highest standards of compliance and
economic substance. It’s important that markets worldwide have access to
Bermuda’s leading expertise and capacity.”

“Bermuda can be proud of our market’s long-respected record on
compliance and tax-transparency—the island remains a jurisdiction of
choice for reputable businesses,” added BDA CEO Roland Andy Burrows.
“Today’s decision is the right one, and we welcome it as a testament to
the top-tier reputation we’ve worked hard to build over many decades. We
thank the government for its pro-active response, as well as the
regulator and all our industry stakeholders.”

Bermuda’s stock exchange and industry associations, representing sectors
ranging from re/insurance, captive insurance, trusts and family offices
to asset management and local companies, all echoed those comments and
welcomed the EU decision:

“On behalf of the AIMA network in Bermuda, we are delighted ECOFIN has
seen fit to remove Bermuda from the list of non-cooperative
jurisdictions for tax purposes. Bermuda has always sought to adhere to
the highest standards of tax transparency and other global regulatory
standards and sees this quality as a key aspect of the manner in which
it conducts business presently and into the future.”
—Craig
Bridgewater, Chair, Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA)
network in Bermuda

“Bermuda has consistently demonstrated its commitment to combating money
laundering and terrorist financing. On behalf of the trust Industry, I
can say we are pleased with the Bermuda government’s efforts to resolve
this issue, and remain confident that Bermuda can, in quick order,
resume enjoying the benefits of being recognised by the EU as
co-operative international financial centre.”
—Leah Scott,
President, Bermuda Association of Licensed Trustees (BALT)

“ABIC welcomes the confirmation that Bermuda has been removed from the
EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. We applaud all involved in
bringing this to fruition and are committed to working collaboratively
with government and industry stakeholders to ensure that Bermuda remains
a leading reputable international business jurisdiction.”
Patrick
Tannock, Chair, Association of Bermuda International Companies (ABIC)

“On behalf of the entire business community, we express our appreciation
to Premier Burt, Finance Minister Curtis Dickinson and Bermuda Monetary
Authority Chair Jeremy Cox for immediately and effectively marshalling
resources to demonstrate Bermuda’s long-standing tradition and
commitment to meet and exceed international standards. Thank you, as
well, to the European Union Economic and Financial Affairs Council for
their continued engagement with Bermuda.”
—Albert Benchimol,
Chair, Association of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers (ABIR)

“BILTIR members are proud to work in an insurance-friendly jurisdiction
that is both Solvency II equivalent and NAIC-qualified. While being
placed on ECOFIN’s list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions was
disappointing, BILTIR members were confident Bermuda would be removed
from the list at the earliest opportunity. We are confident our
government officials will continue to work with the EU to meet all
compliance standards, demonstrating Bermuda’s longstanding reputation
for transparency and regulatory leadership.”
—Ronnie Klein,
Senior Advisor, Bermuda International Long Term Insurers and Reinsurers
(BILTIR)

“BIMA is pleased Bermuda has been removed from the EU list of
non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. The decision today by
the European Union recognises Bermuda’s commitment to full compliance
and tax transparency.”
—Kathleen Bibbings, President, Bermuda
International Management Association (BIMA)

“Removal from this list is a testament to Bermuda’s commitment to meet
and exceed international standards of regulatory compliance. This
development also serves to underscore the seriousness Bermuda places on
being a strong partner in the global regulatory and commercial fabric.
At the BSX, we share this view and work regularly with international
regulators and market practitioners to ensure our operating platforms
are in line with global standards. This is clearly evident in the fact
the BSX is a full member of the World Federation of Exchanges and a
member of the Board of Directors of that organisation.”
—Greg
Wojciechowski, President & CEO, Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX)

“The Bermuda Chamber of Commerce is appreciative of the swiftness of the
ECOFIN group in altering Bermuda’s status and removing Bermuda from the
list of non-cooperative jurisdictions. We also want to recognise all the
behind-the-scenes work by our government and industry partners in making
sure we spoke and acted in a cohesive manner. The Chamber believes this
latest move speaks to Bermuda’s history and long track record of
compliance and transparency.”
—Kendaree Burgess, CEO, Bermuda
Chamber of Commerce

“On behalf of STEP Bermuda, I welcome the news from Brussels that the EU
has recognised that we ought not to be categorised as a non-cooperative
jurisdiction. Our trust industry has a long history of high regulatory
standards and I am sure the whole industry will join with me in thanking
the Bermuda government for its hard work over the last few months.”
—Keith
Robinson, Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP)

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