Offshore: Open for business
The Isle of Man has often struggled to keep pace with recent pressures to evolve, but as the competition for offshore business hots up, the island is diversifying its economy and shaking out its legislative structures to keep a competitive advantage. Simon Harding reports
It may be a cliche, but it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the Isle of Man is going through a defining period of change – and opportunity. The island has recently spent several years on the back foot, reacting to the international drive for transparency and the erosion of harmful tax competition, largely at the behest of supra-national organisations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union (EU). On the regulatory side, this has resulted in the introduction of strict anti-money laundering requirements, the regulation of fiduciary service providers and enhanced supervision of financial services companies. On the tax side, steps have been taken to eliminate ring-fenced tax regimes, to implement the EU Savings Directive and to settle the terms of bilateral tax information exchange agreements.
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