Jersey: A Beneficial Exchange Of Views

1 July marked a number of things – 21 days until the school summer holidays; 42 days until the Premier League kicks off again; and 176 days until Christmas. For those in the cut and thrust of international company administration, it was also another milestone in the evolving debate around beneficial ownership.

Midnight on 30 June was the time all Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories (CDOTs) were aiming for to have an equivalent and reciprocal mechanism in place with the UK to enhance the exchange of beneficial ownership information with law enforcement authorities – something they'd signed up to following the introduction last year of the UK's Register of People with Significant Control.

It's worth noting that the CDOTs have in place varying models of collecting and verifying information on the beneficial owners of companies registered in their jurisdiction. As far as Jersey is concerned, it's well placed in all this.

Entities registered in Jersey have for some time been required to provide details of beneficial ownership on incorporation. A central register has been in place in Jersey since 1989, with trust and company service providers being required by law to retain full details of beneficial ownership and control, and to make such information available to the Companies Registry or the Jersey's regulator, the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) on request. It's a model that has been endorsed by authorities including the OECD, World Bank, and MONEYVAL.

Nevertheless, Jersey took the deadline as an opportunity to refresh and verify the beneficial ownership held, and go one step further. Following an agreement signed with the UK last year, Jersey, as from 1 July, will go beyond the minimum standard and respond to requests from the UK's authorities for beneficial ownership information even faster - within an hour if urgent and within 24 hours if non-urgent. We think this puts Jersey years ahead of most other jurisdictions – onshore and offshore.

These moves are important in their own right, but 1 July is also significant for another reason - because it marked the formal beginning of an 18-month review by the UK government of the arrangements between it and each territory for the sharing of beneficial ownership information, with a view to a report being published in the first half of 2019. It's a review that was put in action following April's Criminal Finances Act.

A review might seem a daunting prospect, but our view is that actually it provides an opportunity to demonstrate Jersey's high standards and to engage directly with the UK Government on the critically important longer-term issue of public registers.

It is high time a sensible debate was had on whether they really are the most effective means of combatting financial crime. Our consistent view has been that they are not, and this review provides a window for public registers to be scrutinised properly.

Indeed, the indications are that there are real questions both over the efficacy of public registers and their intrusion into personal privacy. In particular, it is significant that so far only a handful of jurisdictions worldwide have signed up to a public register model, with some major economies showing little interest in adopting it, notably the US, Hong Kong and Singapore.

It's also increasingly unclear whether public registers could be made obligatory across the EU, with the privacy issue proving absolutely fundamental. It was interesting that in October 2016, the French Supreme Court published a decision that challenged the legality of the government's public register of trusts. In December, the same court declared the public aspect of country-by-country reporting as unconstitutional.

We believe strongly that Jersey's model of collecting, verifying, managing, and sharing beneficial ownership provides a credible, balanced and pragmatic alternative to public registers, and it's an approach that is being increasingly backed up by authorities and academics.

Earlier this year, for instance, a working paper entitled 'Beneficial Openness: weighing the costs and benefits of financial transparency' (M Forstater, March 2017) concluded that "universal central public registers of beneficial ownership are neither the only nor the best solution" (p30).

In addition, speaking at this year's Jersey Finance London Private Wealth Conference, Jason Sharman, Professor of International Relations at Cambridge University, suggested there was a mismatch between the expense of solutions being proposed to counter financial crime, such as public registers, and the effect they are having. He encouraged policy makers to pause, stop introducing new rules and spend more time finding out whether current ones are working.

So, whilst 1 July marked an important moment in time in terms of practical steps being taken to enhance beneficial ownership mechanisms, the review the UK Government has now embarked on might just be the pause for breath the regulatory world needs to remember what our shared goal here is – to effectively fight financial crime.

Linkedin -
Twitter - @jerseyfinance
Youtube -

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions