Today's joint announcement by the Governments of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man underpins the Crown Dependencies' commitment to tackle financial crime by publishing their roadmaps for the further development of their registers of beneficial ownership regimes.
The commitment, in line with the EU's 5th Anti Money Laundering Directive, sets out the following stages:
- the interconnection of the islands' registers of beneficial ownership of companies with those within the EU for access by law enforcement authorities and Financial Intelligence Units; then
- access for financial service businesses and certain other prescribed businesses for corporate due diligence purposes; then
- public access aligned to the approach taken in the EU Directive.
The announcement does not affect current practices, as the Crown Dependencies already have well established independent registers with accurate, verifiable and accessible data. The move highlights the high standards of transparency, governance and compliance already in place in each jurisdiction. Just last week, the Crown Dependencies' commitment to and high standards for Anti-Money Laundering legislation and practice were praised by the FBI at the US Senate Committee on Banking. Some of the first jurisdictions worldwide to regulate trustees, as well as early adopters of FATCA and CRS, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man continue to uphold the highest standards in line with OECD practice and the Financial Action Task Force standards.
The Crown Dependencies have committed to adopting legislative proposals within one year of the European Commission report to be published in 2022. Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man's constitutional position remains the same, with each jurisdiction determining its own policy. They have long been committed to developing their regimes in line with international standards and this is the next step to ensure they keep pace with global developments and norms while continuing to recognise and respect an individual's right to privacy.