02 November 2016
The Government of Jersey has today published an enhanced policy on beneficial ownership and a register of directors.
Following a public consultation earlier this year the policy details the development of a domestic policy to ensure that Jersey continues to fulfil its obligation as a responsible international finance centre.
The policy has been developed on the back of an already effective system that has been independently endorsed by international assessors and acknowledged experts. The udpated policy considers recent developments on the increasing need for law enforcement authorities to have access to information quickly to investigate financial crime, particularly where terrorist financing is concerned.
Senator Philip Ozouf, Assistant Chief Minister for Financial Services, Competition, Digital & Innovation, said “In the Government of Jersey’s Financial Services Policy Framework, published in April 2014, the Government clearly set out that being ‘Responsible’ was one of four core principles upon which a financial services policy for Jersey was based.
"As a leading international finance centre, Jersey commits to comply with international standards and global initiatives. Jersey is considered a responsible partner to the UK, the EU and other international jurisdictions and aims to be a ‘good citizen’ internationally. Our obligation as a responsible international finance centre require us to continue to develop our own domestic policies so that we continue to be regarded as one of the most stable and successful international financial centres in the world.
"The Government sees this policy as an enhancement of an already effective system in Jersey. This announcement develops our ability to exchange information with law enforcement and tax authorities so that it is robust and effective for the future.”
Register of directors
The policy, that is predominantly relevant to trust and company service providers (TCSPs) who administer Jersey corporate and legal entities, will require the TCSP to update the central registry within 21 days of knowledge of a change of beneficial ownership of a corporate that they administer. Additionally, the Government will be creating a central register of directors of Jersey companies, with information being exchanged with law enforcement and tax authorities on request, on the same basis that beneficial ownership information is exchanged.
The Government also notes the importance of technology in implementing the new policy between the Companies Registry and TCSPs to allow TCSPs computer systems to automatically and securely provide the central registry with information. The launch of the policy will be supported by a programme of outreach by the Government and the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) to the financial services industry before the end of 2016. The JFSC Companies Registry will also be communicating with companies and publishing documents relevant to the implementation of the new policy.
John Harris, Registrar of Companies and Director General of the JFSC said “The Jersey Financial Services Commission will be deploying the Government of Jersey policy, but the timelines for the implementation are very tight and, in order to meet the deadlines, we will be working with industry and related interest groups, plus there will be an extensive programme of outreach to ensure the process of delivery is efficient and effective.
"A requirement to obtain beneficial ownership information already exists, so this is a matter of centralising collection for all Jersey registered entities. This will enhance our leading position, as formally recognised in our recent Council of Europe MONEYVAL assessment, and is part of our ongoing work to comply with their recommendations.
"In addition, work already undertaken as part of our Change programme will make the process smarter taking advantage of modern technology.”