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Thu May 2, 2013, 04:34 AM

British overseas territories sign deal to curb tax evasion

(Reuters) - Tax havens such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands will work more closely with Britain and other European countries to fight tax evasion, Chancellor George Osborne said on Thursday.

With governments in most advanced economies short of tax revenue after the financial crisis, pressure has been growing on small territories with big banking sectors to lift bank secrecy and do more to combat tax dodging and money laundering.

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Now British overseas territories such as Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands - which are effectively colonies with some self-government - will have to automatically provide details the ownership of bank accounts, and about how they are used, the Treasury said.

"This represents a significant step forward in tackling illicit finance and sets the global standard in the fight against tax evasion," Osborne said.

The information will be shared by Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, which agreed in June last year to work together to combat tax evasion.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/05/01/uk-britain-tax-overseas-idUKBRE94016820130501

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