Premier and Finance Minister Paula Cox signs the TIEA with Indonesia. *Photo supplied
Premier and Finance Minister Paula Cox signs the TIEA with Indonesia. *Photo supplied

WEDNESDAY, JULY 13: Bermuda is nurturing its worldwide presence as an Islamic financial hub.

Business Bermuda stressed the island’s commitment to expanding its Islamic Finance sector at the inaugural Islamic Financial News European Forum in London.

Peter Hughes, Apex Fund Services group director, spoke on the island’s leading role in the growth of the Islamic finance industry.

Opportunities

He also hosted a panel discussion about Bermuda as an Islamic finance hub.

At the forum — attended by 650 people — experts also discussed how Bermuda can offer an attractive, politically neutral platform to Western investors and managers.

Mr Hayes said: “Bermuda is in an excellent position to support firms seeking to invest in Shariah compliant products, especially since regulations and laws form the foundation of our world-class financial services industry, making Bermuda well regulated, transparent and fully compliant.  The global market for Islamic finance and insurance will continue to grow, opening exciting possibilities for Bermuda-based companies.”

Bermuda recently signed its 25th Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) with the Republic of Indonesia, providing a full exchange of information on criminal and civil tax matters.

Indonesia is home to the world’s largest Muslim population and is a key member of the Asia-Pacific G20.

In recent years Bermuda has strengthened its position as a jurisdiction of choice for the Shariah-compliant international financial services industry.

Bermuda companies and trusts are now regularly used by on-island financiers for Islamic finance transactions.

Islamic institutions have developed a wide range of techniques using offshore vehicles to allow them to uphold religious and legal principles while offering financial products.  

Compliant

Bermuda’s regulatory structure provides mechanisms which meet the requirements of Shariah compliant services, such as takaful and retakaful structures and mutual fund structures.

Cheryl Packwood, Business Bermuda CEO, said the organization would continue to market Bermuda “as the offshore jurisdiction of choice for Islamic finance.”

Bermuda is a ‘White-listed’ Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) jurisdiction and vice chair of the OECD Global Forum Steering Group. It has also signed a TIEA with Bahrain in the last year.