Britain’s campaign for a crackdown on tax evasion by multinationals and wealthy individuals appeared to be bearing fruit on Saturday after its Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, regarded as safe tax havens, signed an agreement promising more transparency.

The agreement, reached ahead of the G8 Summit starting in Northern Ireland on Monday, was hailed by Prime Minister David Cameron as a “very positive step forward”.

Those who signed the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters included leaders of Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Anguilla, Montserrat, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

They agreed to set up a register of companies who have accounts in their jurisdiction. British tax authorities would be allowed access to the register.

The BBC reported that they also agreed to publish national action plans on beneficial ownership, detailing the true owners of so-called “shell” companies.

But independent observers were cautious saying that there were still too many loose ends to be tied up.

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