Barrister calls for offshore regulation

Money laundering and financial misdemeanor is thriving because of a failure to properly regulate the offshore tax advice sector, according to a leading London consultant.

Barry Spencer, barrister and co-founder of the international SCF Group, is calling for a regulatory framework along the lines of the Law Society and Bar Council codes of conduct.

“The Government has acted over the regulation of the personal finance industry in the UK but it needs to set up similar standards for the offshore taxation and company formation sector,” said Spencer.

“The reputation of all offshore advisers is put at risk by the failure of a single one to adopt the highest ethical standards…non-professional consultancies are unknowingly abetting money laundering.”

Spencer has begun talks with Asian competitors to consider setting up a professional body.

Key features of a regulatory system should include ensuring consultant professionalism, due diligence requirements and a formal regulator body, he said.