Isle of Man news: “Jersey links” private bank Kleinwort Benson to leave island

IOM Today reports

“Leading finance company Kleinwort Benson is pulling out of the Isle of Man and 12 jobs are affected by the shock move.

The international firm is pulling the plug on the provision of banking and wealth management services from the island.

The company says that while the island business remains profitable, it lacks ‘critical mass’ and an ‘orderly wind down’ of the business is being put in place.”

Kleinwort Benson is the private bank at the centre of the most recent offshore leaks series by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, revealing the links of celebrities, political donors and industrial tycoons to offshore accounts.

The IOM Today article makes no mention of the leaks, which received global coverage three weeks ago.

In other Isle of Man news, Chief Minister Allan Bell has said he “is not convinced there is a need for a policy on identifying the true owners of companies with which government does business.”

The Chief Minister continued saying he “was not aware of any specific concerns or problems which have arisen as a consequence of not identifying the ultimate beneficial owners of companies before government does business or enters into a contract with them.”

Perhaps Mr Bell could start by taking a look at the Puppet Masters, a study of grand corruption by the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative. The report finds hidden ownership of companies in the majority of corruption cases under review.

Further reading on why hidden beneficial ownership is a really bad idea can be found here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Hat tips: @returningassets, @maggrana

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