According to French Public Accounts Minister Gerald Darmanin, France plans to add the British Virgin Islands to a blacklist for being “not cooperative enough in terms of financial transparency,” along with the Seychelles, the Bahamas and Anguilla. Since the Panama Papers leak in 2016, France has been investigating 500 offshore companies owned by French residents.
BVI Premier Andrew Fahie did not provide any comments, however BVI Finance CEO Elise Donovan said the relevant government agencies were working with French authorities to get more information. In the meantime, the jurisdiction has been passing legislation to comply with economic substance requirements from the European Union, to avoid being placed on the EU blacklist.
Seychelles Finance Minister Maurice Loustau-Lalanne called the decision “hostile, regrettable and disappointing,” and said that it would negatively impact the Seychelles’ economy.