Bahamas set to introduce controversial vehicles

A Bahamian draft bill is likely to lead to the intro-duction of investment foundations, the vehicles sometimes associated with fraudsters such as Robert Maxwell.

As reported on www.the, Liechtenstein, Maxwell’s financial haven of choice, has borne the brunt of international concerns over these foundations. Many believe they are not audited properly and not transparent because they do not have to disclose the identities of beneficiaries. But the Bahamas, which wants to replace existing investment trusts with foundations, says its versions will meet international standards.

The existing investment trusts have been the source of difficulties for local bankers. Bankers have effectively been taking on the wider responsibilities of trustees, such as ensuring investments are in the interests of all beneficiaries of trusts and checking due diligence is done. The main advantage of foundations is that they limit liability if the investments fail.