From an ILS World specific perspective, the year brought the launch of our updated branding which has generally been very positively received – thank you for your feedback. From a wider industry perspective we saw the first FATCA reports filed and started to turn our attention to the more impactful CRS regime.
The UK, and in particular David Cameron, continued to press the UK's Dependent and Overseas territories to introduce central and publically accessible registers of beneficial owners. So far the Territories are resisting this initiative by playing the moral superiority card and insisting that the regimes already in place make beneficial ownership information available to appropriate parties in any event. Long may this line continue to be held.
From a world perspective the year has been witness to the continued terrorist atrocities of hard-line Islamists on a number of fronts. Enough words have already been written about the abhorrent views of these terrorists, but the unanswered question still seems to be quite how they manage to finance their operations. With so much attention having been focussed on the elimination of proceeds of crime and terrorism from our financial systems over the last decade or two, the fact that ISIS (and others) can still process millions of dollars from the illicit sale of oil and other commodities through the world's banks seems to suggest that Mr Cameron, and his fellow leaders, should perhaps be focussing their attentions on those well away from the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories. Unfortunately I don't think anyone in the industry thinks for one second that this is a likely outcome.
So, looking forward I guess that we can expect more of the same. Not a very exciting prognosis, but not one that will put dread into the hearts and minds of colleagues or clients.
Nevertheless I would like to take this opportunity of wishing all the readers of our Beyond Borders newsletter a very merry festive season and a prosperous (if predictable) New Year.