Official Press release from the Washington trip by IOM Government delegation

Date: July 10, 2009

Delegation to Washington warmly received

THE Isle of Man’s continuing leadership in the field of international co-operation has created considerable interest during the Manx Government delegation’s visit to Washington this week.

Headed by Chief Minister Tony Brown MHK, the delegation has spent a busy three days in the US capital meeting key advisers and officials in the areas of tax and financial crime. Mr Brown has been accompanied by Treasury Minister Allan Bell MHK, Chief Secretary Mary Williams, Attorney General John Corlett and Director of External Relations Della Fletcher.

The Chief Minister said: ‘We have been warmly received. There has been a good deal of interest in the Island’s leading position on tax co-operation, our record in signing tax information exchange agreements and recognition of that through the OECD white list. As well, our high standards of financial regulation in such areas as Know Your Customer are being viewed here as examples of best practice.

‘People in Washington are particularly impressed that the Isle of Man has underlined its commitment to transparency by being the first small finance centre to announce a move to automatic exchange of tax information under the EU Savings Directive.’

Mr Brown continued: ‘The purpose of the visit was to make the Isle of Man’s case in person to key contacts in Washington, which is what we have done. This was not the Manx Government’s first delegation to the USA, and it won’t be the last, but we have to continue reinforcing the message across a range of people and places.

‘Going to the States for face-to-face meetings – in addition to our ongoing dialogue in the meantime – shows we are serious about building relationships and understanding in Washington, and this was a point appreciated by the people we have met.’

Bodies contacted by the delegation this week include: the Multistate Tax Commission, working to co-ordinate tax laws across the States; the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees all tax legislation introduced in the Senate; the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, which oversees all tax legislation in the House of Representatives; the Joint Committee on Taxation, assisting Congress on tax policy and legislation; the US Treasury; the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which has investigated offshore tax evasion; and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN), the US Treasury’s main anti-money laundering agency, the Deputy Director of which, William F. Baity, visited the Island last year to deliver the Chief Minister’s International Lecture.

In addition to meetings with officials and advisers, the delegation supported the network of Island connections within the USA by attending a reception hosted by the Washington Manx Society.