A discussion in a meeting of international tax people hit me.
In the discussion referred to, talks were about the enormous amounts of investments in UK real estate by offshore companies. Now, the UK announces a follow-up on the ownership of offshore companies holding real estate.
I do honestly have to ask myself, whether it is still possible to open bank accounts in the UK (and companies do need such a bank account to receive rental payments) without being able to identify the beneficial owner.
Did you try to open a bank account for an offshore company in Luxembourg or Switzerland?
Indeed, if the UK would apply the international rules of Anti-Money-Laundering (which they insist other countries to do to make sure UK taxpayers are known by any means), they would easily be able to identify the beneficial owner of the offshore companies referred to.
My questions: How can the UK banks not know the beneficiaries of offshore companies? Is there a banking secrecy stronger than the Swiss and Luxembourg ones have been? Why make this public? Next year the Common Reporting Standards will provide for the information wanted. Does the UK not envisage to implement these rules?
Here the link to an article on the issue
Crackdown on offshore owners of UK property