Home HRCommunication The Bermuda Angle, February 2020

The Bermuda Angle, February 2020

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The Bermuda Angle, February 2020

Welcome to The Bermuda Angle, a new bi-monthly round-up of international business news, views and events you need to know about from our world-leading financial jurisdiction.
EU Confirms Bermuda’s ‘White List’ Status
Bermuda has returned to the European Union’s (EU) list of fully cooperative tax jurisdictions. The decision was made by EU Finance Ministers at the meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) in Brussels on 18 February. Bermuda’s global industry groups have welcomed the news and applauded the efforts of Bermuda’s government in securing a successful result.
Captive Growth Continues
With a total of 715 captives writing gross premiums of approximately $40 billion in 2019 (BMA), Bermuda maintains its position as the leading domicile and authority for the captive insurance market. Of the 22 new formations last year, nearly a quarter came from Canada, with interest from this market continuing to grow. Registrations also came from Asia, Europe and Africa. A team from Bermuda represented the strengths of the jurisdiction at the World Captive Forum 2020, held in Miami this month. As Mike Parrish, head of client services at Marsh Management Services (Bermuda), notes in the latest edition of Captive Insurance Times, 2020 is set to be an interesting year for Bermuda’s captive sector. For example, Bermuda has already seen Gemini’s Nakamoto, the world’s first captive to insure crypto custody (launched by the Winklevoss twins), set up on islandNew Corporate Structure Available
Businesses can now take advantage of a new corporate vehicle created by the Incorporated Segregated Accounts Companies (ISAC) Act 2019. The Act came into effect at the beginning of this year and has potential application in the insurance, reinsurance, investment funds, family offices, asset management, and securitisation sectors. This vehicle will allow the formation of structures which provide for improved efficiencies, including the pooling of professional support, while driving more robust asset and liability protections.
Leading the Global Fight Against Financial Crime
Given the weight attached to assessments conducted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the international standards setting body, Bermuda’s recently published Mutual Evaluation Report is of critical importance for businesses who want to conduct their operations in a trusted and high-quality jurisdiction. The report confirmed the jurisdiction as a global leader in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation and further concluded that Bermuda has a high level of effectiveness with respect to assessing risks and applying a risk-based approach; a result that so far is only shared with the United Kingdom.The (Re)Insurance Market: A Global Powerhouse
The Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) registered a total of 69 new insurance entities in 2019, including 58 new (re)insurers and 11 intermediaries. These 2019 registrations reinforced the continued significance of Bermuda’s (re)insurance market, comprised of over 1,200 (re)insurers holding total assets in excess of $800 billion and writing gross premium of approximately $150 billion.
Brexit
The UK has officially left the EU and the transition period which will last until the end of 2020 has begun. Since the referendum vote in 2016, Bermuda has been preparing for the UK’s eventual withdrawal from the EU and, while this year will be one of ongoing negotiation, Bermuda’s stand-alone Solvency II equivalence with the EU remains unaffected by Brexit, along with its progressive path toward third-country Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) passport rights. Bermuda’s EU Withdrawal (Consequential Amendments) Act 2020 was passed in the House of Assembly in February to ensure business continuity in key areas of company law and investment now that the UK has left the EU.Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC)
The GBBC was launched in 2017 at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland and Bermuda is one of the more than 50 nations comprising the leading industry association for the blockchain technology ecosystem. Denis Pitcher, chief fintech advisor to the Premier of Bermuda, and Kevin Richards, the BDA’s business development manager for technology, attended this year’s Davos to advance the country’s Currency Standard initiative which was announced at last year’s Bermuda Tech Summit. Denis Pitcher spoke to Coindesk about plans to help drive adoption of blockchain technologies.Bermuda: An Atlantic Digital Port
New legislation, the Submarine Communications Cables Act, passed its second reading in the House of Assembly in February. This legislation is part of a wider focus which is targeting a renewal of Bermuda’s interest in the submarine cable industry. While the island already hosts three cables, there’s potential for this number to grow because Bermuda’s location is a logical stopover for cables running between the Americas, Western Europe and Africa. Bermuda’s plans, including the proposed development of a designated submarine cable protection zone, were highlighted this month at the Pacific Telecommunications Council annual conference. Meetings were held with range of major tech companies who build such infrastructure, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon.

Upcoming Events

Refocus 2020 – March 4-8
RIMS Risk Management Academy Bermuda – March 9-11

Bermuda Executive Forum NYC 2020 – March 19

Connecting Business
The BDA encourages direct investment and helps companies start up, re-locate or expand their operations in our premier jurisdiction. An independent, public-private partnership, we connect you to industry professionals, regulatory officials, and key contacts in the Bermuda government to assist domicile decisions. Our goal? To make doing business here smooth and beneficial.

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