16 September 2013Accounting & tax analysis

Crown dependencies are not tax havens, says Cameron

David Cameron, prime minister of the United Kingdom, has made it clear to his parliament that he does not consider offshore territories like Guernsey and Jersey to be tax havens.

Speaking after the G20 summit in St Petersberg, he said: “I do not think it is fair any longer to refer to any of the overseas territories or crown dependencies as tax havens. They have taken action to make sure that they have fair and open tax systems.”

Geoff Cook, CEO of Jersey Finance, responded: “these comments from the prime minister are not only extremely welcome, but they also demonstrate that there is now a recognition and understanding at the highest level of the UK government, of the standards achieved by Jersey and the other crown dependencies and overseas territories and also the value of Jersey to the UK, as a partner in international trade.”

Fiona Le Poidevin, CEO of Guernsey Finance, said: “hopefully [Mr. Cameron’s] comments will not only bring an end to the label’s use, but also raise awareness among the wider UK public about the level of contribution that Guernsey and other crown dependencies make to the UK economy.”

She concluded: “we do not condone tax evasion. We would like to think that his latest comments will put the notion that Guernsey is a tax haven to end and instead paint it as the cooperative and transparent international finance centre that we are.”