The British Virgin Islands, Guernsey and Jersey signed sixteen new bilateral tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) with various OECD countries. Since 2000 the OECD has been working with financial centers across the globe to sign TIEAs in order to increase the transparency and accountability of cross-border transactions. Recently, TIEAs have taken on increased importance due to the global financial crisis and various tax evasion scandals. According to OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria, “The political climate is changing, and financial centers that do not respect the OECD standards will not be allowed to gain a competitive advantage…It is in the interest of all financial centers to have adequate measures in favor of full transparency as quickly as possible.”
This is the third such bilateral agreement signed by the British Virgin Islands; Jersey has signed 10 and Guernsey nine. Other financial centers are making progress towards full exchange of information, including Cyprus, Malta and Belgium. Additionally, the government of Hong Kong has recently taken steps to review its exchange of information policy.
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