Paradise Papers that raised concern about tax avoidance through offshore accounts of large companies, seems to have alerted the Care Quality Commission. An investigation by the Financial Mail has found that some firms involved in the care industry – many of which receive public money directly from local authorities to pay for residents’ care – have links to offshore tax-haven territories including the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, Gibraltar and the Channel Islands. The revelations coincide with a battle for control of the country’s second biggest care home provider, Four Seasons, controlled by Guernsey-based tycoon Guy Hands. The company has until December 15 to satisfy a £26 million interest payment on its enormous debts. The Care Quality Commission are to clampdown on large companies and in future Britain's care home providers will be forced to declare their links to offshore tax havens. The clampdown comes amid growing concerns over the future of Four Seasons, one of the biggest operators in the market. The CQC have said that from April it will ask firms to lift the lid on what are in some cases highly complex ownership structures – and to reveal the identities of the moneymen behind them. A spokeswoman for the Care Quality Commission said the care market is ‘much more global than it was ten years ago and we need to be more transparent. We need to develop regulatory policies and want to get a better oversight of providers.’ She added that the CQC wanted to know who are the ultimate owners, and ‘who has influence and control. We need a better understanding of the ownership, of the investors and directors, and to make that public.’ The ownership of some groups passes through multiple layers of bizarrely named companies before ending up with a business or trust in a tax haven. Among the so-called Big Five, Barchester is owned by a Jersey-based company. Four Seasons is owned by Hands’ Terra Firma, with an office in Guernsey. HC-One has links to the Cayman Isles. Its chairman Dr Chai Patel is director of a Cayman-domiciled FC Skyfall Topco Ltd. In addition, second-tier groups, including Akari and Orchard Care, which own more than 100 homes between them, operate through a labyrinth of companies. Akari’s ownership funnels through a dizzying array of firms before resting with Caymans-based Csp Iv LP. Orchard is controlled by a Guernsey-registered outfit along with ASO LUX 3 S.A.R.L, a mysterious Luxembourg-based enterprise. And some care homes under the Bondcare and Care Worldwide brands are controlled by Gibraltar-based trustees.
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