Over the last year Bermuda has taken various steps to meet these standards, many of which place additional regulatory obligations on companies and partnerships registered in Bermuda, to vet and disclose information about their beneficial owners.
In addition to the need for compliance with international transparency standards, as set forth by the Financial Action Task Force and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Bermuda signed the UK Exchange of Notes Agreement in 2016 in respect of exchanges of beneficial ownership data and the development of a central registry. The action being taken to broaden our beneficial ownership regime is therefore also being taken to ensure fulfilment of obligations pursuant to this agreement.
A beneficial owner in this context is an individual or individuals who own or control more than 25% of the shares, voting rights or interests in the company through direct or indirect ownership thereof, or where no such individual(s) exist or can be identified, any individual or individuals who control a company by other means (e.g. by having right to appoint or remove a majority of the board of directors of a company), or if no such individual or individuals exist or can be identified, the individual who holds the position of senior manager of the company.