12 November 2019
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has published a new guide on Best Practices on Beneficial Ownership for Legal Persons, which refers to what Jersey does as examples of best practice. The report identifies common challenges that countries face in ensuring that beneficial owners of companies are identified, and suggests key features of an effective beneficial ownership transparency regime.
Following publication of the paper on Thursday, the Minister for External Relations, Senator Ian Gorst, commented: “Four examples from Jersey’s beneficial ownership regime were included in the FATF publication. The examples noted our use of regulated trust companies to incorporate most companies and the positive effect this has on the accuracy of Jersey’s register.
“They also noted the work of the Jersey Financial Services Commission in ensuring trust companies uphold the accuracy of beneficial ownership information, and the ease of access which the States of Jersey Police Joint Financial Crimes Unit has to beneficial ownership information, which can be shared with other police forces in the UK and further afield.
“The report acknowledges that countries find it challenging to achieve satisfactory levels of transparency on the beneficial ownership of companies. Against that backdrop, the use of Jersey examples demonstrates the significant success we have achieved in developing our approach towards beneficial ownership transparency.
“That doesn’t mean we are resting on our laurels. We are developing the legal powers that ensure information on our beneficial ownership register is accurate, adequate and up-to-date. We are also working to connect our register with those of UK and EU Member States, and we are developing the accessibility and transparency of our register, in line with the principles of the EU’s fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive. This work will be completed within a timeframe that we consider deliverable.
“The ongoing development of our beneficial ownership regime shows how seriously we take our responsibility to ensure criminals are denied access to Jersey’s financial system and are detected and brought to justice when they do gain access.”
The FATF’s website
explains that the FATF, “is the global standard-setter for measures to fight money laundering and terrorist financing. In 2003, the FATF became the first international body to set global standards on beneficial ownership. It required countries to ensure that their authorities could obtain up-to-date and accurate information about the person(s) behind companies and foundations and other legal persons. The FATF further strengthened and clarified its beneficial ownership requirements in 2012.”