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Jersey Forum Questions Onslaught Of New Int'l Regulations

by Amanda Banks, Lowtax.net, London
31 May, 2017

Jersey Finance's Annual Private Wealth Conference 2017 discussed the proliferation of new legislation internationally, which have been targeted at international financial crime by developed countries.

This legislation has resulted in considerably greater burdens on regulators in international financial centers and regulated entities.

Jason Sharman, Professor of International Relations at Cambridge University, said policymakers in developed countries should instead spend more time reviewing the effectiveness of existing rules, suggesting there is a mismatch between the cost of solutions being rolled out by governments, and the effect they actually have in countering "grand" corruption.

He also said the increase in legislation was not being driven by facts but by an "industry of numbers," which he said frequently overestimates the amount of illicit activity taking place, and the role of international financial centers in this regard.

Sharman told delegates: "... whilst there is a lot of talk from major developed countries about transparency, and public registers specifically, in a number of cases it is largely window dressing. Administrations around the world need to be able to investigate and access data, but the privacy of individuals must also be protected."

Geoff Cook, CEO of Jersey Finance, the island's financial services promotion agency, said:: "Last year our conference was held just four weeks after the Panama Papers were published and [Jason Sharman] was a rational voice in an environment that, at times, reached levels of hysteria. It was fantastic to have Jason's independent analysis of the effectiveness of different jurisdictions in combatting financial crime. He has provided very sage advice again this year: amongst all the noise around transparency and public registers, he has urged governments to pause and assess just how successful initiatives are in combatting financial crime.

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