OECD releases full version of global standard for automatic exchange of information

On 21 July 2014, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the full version of a new global standard (the Standard) for the exchange of information between jurisdictions.

The Standard provides for annual automatic exchange between governments of financial account information, including balances, interest, dividends, and sales proceeds from financial assets, reported to governments by financial institutions and covering accounts held by individuals and entities, including trusts and foundations. The new consolidated version includes commentary and guidance for implementation by governments and financial institutions, detailed model agreements, as well as standards for harmonised technical and information technology solutions, notably a standard format and requirements for secure transmission of data.

The OECD media release states that the OECD will formally present the Standard to G20 Finance Ministers at their next meeting in Cairns, Australia, on 20-21 September 2014. Australia has already made a formal declaration of its determination to implement the Standard swiftly, on a reciprocal basis with other countries, and to translate the standard into domestic law, to ensure that information on beneficial ownership of legal persons and arrangements is effectively collected and exchanged in accordance with the Standard.