UK to back more transparency for its overseas tax havens

LONDON — Britain is set to make its overseas tax havens disclose the true owners of companies registered there in a bid to clamp down on tax avoidance and money-laundering.

Legislation before the House of Commons requires British Overseas Territories such as the Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands to set up public "beneficial ownership" registers. Britain can force them to do it if they don't comply by December 2020.

The Conservative minority government agreed Tuesday to back the opposition-proposed amendment to its Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill after enough Conservative lawmakers supported the measure.

Labour lawmaker Margaret Hodge, who proposed the measure, said it would help stop tax evaders and criminals from hiding their "toxic wealth."

The bill is expected to become law later this year.

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