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Jersey And UK Deepen Beneficial Ownership Information Exchange

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
14 April, 2016

Jersey and the UK have agreed to reinforce existing arrangements for the exchange of information on the beneficial ownership of companies.

"This new agreement will involve the use of technology to speed up our response to requests, so we can answer non-urgent queries in 24 hours and urgent queries in one hour. This is in response to a need for information without delay where terrorist activities are involved, and is of particular significance in the light of recent events in Paris and Brussels," said Jersey's Chief Minister, Ian Gorst.

He explained that "the agreement is a development of the Action Plan published in June 2013 when the Chief Ministers of Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man met the UK Prime Minister, together with the leaders of the Overseas Territories, to discuss tax, trade, and transparency in advance of the G8 Summit."

The agreement, to be signed on April 12, 2016, reinforces Jersey's existing arrangements "to work together in the worldwide fight against financial crime. Guernsey, the Isle of Man, and the Overseas Territories are entering into the same commitment," he said.

Gorst said "the terms of this agreement are essentially business as usual for Jersey. The island regulates all trust and company service providers and the professionals who provide these services are subject to ongoing supervision. They are required to provide accurate, up to date information on beneficial owners to the Companies' Registry, which forms the central register of beneficial ownership."

Gorst noted that Jersey has had a Central Register of Beneficial Ownership since 1989, and has been sharing information in response to requests from organizations like the UK National Crime Agency for nearly 30 years.

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