On Air Saturday Live Paul Moran | 12:30pm - 5:00pm

UK review - Bell not unduly concerned

The Isle of Man is under political scrutiny once again today, but Treasury Minister Allan Bell seems confident it will continue to operate as a successful offshore financial centre.

Initial surprise and dismay greeted yesterday's call by Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling for a review of financial regulations in the Crown Dependencies.

It has heightened fears the United Kingdom authorities are determined to "rein-in" the offshore centres, following Mr Darling's "long, hard look" remark at a recent sitting of a UK Treasury Select Committee.

However, Mr Bell (pictured) says the Isle of Man has nothing to hide, and a review will prove once again it is a well-regulated jurisdiction. .

He told Manx Radio:

"I don't think it will be particularly damaging.

"It's unsettling, not just to government but also to the business community, to have our affairs under this constant scrutity, but we have to recognise there is a wind of change blowing around the world at the moment.

"The Obama government has raised the matter (as have) the OECD (and) the Europen Union. Gordon Brown is using it to deflect attention away from his own incompetence, so it's inevitable I think that the level of scrutiny now, with the world economic structure in such turmoil, will focus on small countries like the Island and our regulatory structures, to ensure they fully comply with standards."

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