HM Treasury today announced that Mr. Michael Foot has submitted a progress report on his independent review of British offshore financial centres. Mr. Foot was asked by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to conduct a review of the long-term opportunities and challenges facing the British Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories as financial centres.

The interim report summarises initial discussions with British Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories on a range of issues, including:

• financial supervision and transparency;

• taxation, in relation to financial stability, sustainability and future competitiveness;

• financial crisis management and resolution arrangements;

• international cooperation.

##Terms of the Review##

The Review has looked at:

• the degree of interdependence between the financial centres and the UK;

• the impact on the financial centres and on the UK if the prospects of some or all of them are adversely affected;

• whether the way in which the UK and the authorities in each financial centre currently interrelate might be changed to the benefit of both parties.

and in its final report, hopes to provide insights into:

• the quantum and nature of funds which flow between the financial centres and the UK in particular;

• what factors, other than tax, impact upon the choice of financial firms to use the financial centres within the scope of this Review;

• the track record of the financial centres in meeting international minimum standards in areas such as financial regulation, anti-money laundering, the sharing of financial and tax information, and what practical steps might have a high future priority.

The next stage of the review will involve a wider consultation, providing an opportunity for all interested parties to contribute to the review. Mr. Foot has indicated that the final report should be completed in the fourth quarter of 2009.