Paradise islands vow reform but devil is in the missing detail

Facing the threat of being blacklisted by the European Union, three British islands synonymous with aiding tax avoidance say they plan to embrace greater transparency.

Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man have pledged to adopt public registers of the true owners of offshore companies incorporated in their jurisdictions.

The three islands off the coast of Great Britain, who have faced fierce criticism over harboring offshore companies, are crown dependencies, meaning they are self-governing possessions of the U.K. Crown.

In a joint statement issued on June 19, the islands defended their “long track record of high standards” but said by the end of 2023 they would introduce measures in line with the forthcoming European Union Money Laundering Directive.

The directive is expected to endorse publicly accessible registers of beneficial ownership of companies in 2022.