This article by Marcus Killick discusses the issue of abuse in the corporate sector of the Isle of Man and the steps taken by the government to address this problem. In 1994, the number of registered companies in the Isle of Man reached a record high of 34,290. While the majority of these companies serve legitimate purposes, some are involved in illegitimate activities. To combat this abuse, the Isle of Man’s Financial Supervision Commission proposed new legislation requiring companies without a “real presence” on the island to appoint a “Corporate Agent” responsible for maintaining knowledge of the beneficial owner and monitoring the company’s activities.
The article highlights the importance of preserving confidentiality and the need for offshore jurisdictions to develop legislation in this area due to increased scrutiny from the United States and the European Union. The Isle of Man government chose a consultative approach to ensure all stakeholders could contribute to the debate and find an effective solution that deters potential abusers while minimising legislative burdens. The article emphasises the strong dialogue between the government and the financial sector, which enhances the Isle of Man’s position as a major offshore financial centre.
Read the article: Preventing the Abuse of Manx Companies
(Article first published in The Lawyer Magazine, March 1996.)
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