Anglian Water has taken just under three months to remove its Cayman Islands subsidiary from its financial structure.

The company announced plans to “speed up” the removal in March, as part of a wider transparency overhaul.

It said it has achieved the move “swiftly and smoothly” ahead of the rest of the industry because of “excellent management” prior to and during the removal. Anglian also cited its close relationships with lenders and debt investors as an important factor.

The water firm is the first to remove its Cayman Islands company after Ofwat’s chairman Jonson Cox and environment secretary, Michael Gove laid down challenges to the sector earlier this year.

Anglian stressed its Cayman Islands company “was always” registered in the UK for tax and it had never received any tax advantage from its location.

“The company was also never used to raise debt finance,” Anglian said.

Peter Simpson, Anglian Water’s chief executive, said: “As a responsible business, I’m delighted with the progress we’ve made in removing the Cayman company, and the speed at which we have been able to start implementing all of our corporate commitments announced in March.

“This is a clear demonstration of where Anglian Water is leading by doing and paving the way for others in the sector to follow.”

Anglian Water also vowed to reduce dividends, increase investment and review its corporate structure, when it made its announcement in March to improve transparency, trust and customer confidence.

The company said its board and shareholders resolved to “redouble their efforts” to help ensure the right choices are made for current and future customers and the environment.

Simpson added: “As well as committing to simplifying our accounts, we’ve also wound up and removed the Cayman company from our structure, appointed additional Independent non-executive directors to the board, and we are making swift progress on reducing gearing through reduced shareholder dividends.

“We already hold ourselves to the highest standards of accountability and transparency, but as we have shown here, when there is public concern, we act comprehensively and swiftly, setting the standard for the sector. I’m grateful to our shareholders for their support in making these changes.

“This is the next chapter adding to our solid track record of anticipating and responding to challenge.”

Anglian said bond-holder and Cayman Islands High Court consent was secured, and the company was removed from the Anglian Water financial structure in May 2018.

Yorkshire Water, Thames Water and Southern Water are all in the process of closing their Cayman Islands subsidiaries.

The government has welcomed the action being taken by water companies to remove Cayman Islands subsidiaries.

A spokesperson from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “The government expects water companies to work as diligently for customers and the environment as for their investors.

“We welcome the action that the four water companies have taken to close their Cayman Island structures and are pleased that Anglian Water has completed the process.”

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