Great news for Jersey this week.
When you’ve worked diligently for years preparing for a big test then waited nearly 18 months to find out the results, there’s nothing more pleasing than finally being told your scores are excellent. Especially if that also puts you right at the top of the league table of your peers.
In this case, the test was of Jersey’s institutional, legislative and regulatory framework. It was being examined for how well it can and does deter money laundering and the financing of terrorism through the Island’s financial institutions.
And the chief examiner was the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism also known as MONEYVAL.
So it was rather an important test.
Against the 49 stringent standards laid down by the Financial Action Task Force (2003 recommendations), Jersey was found to be “compliant“ or “largely compliant” in no less than 48 of these. That’s outstanding.
What’s more, Jersey's score of 48 puts it well ahead of other jurisdictions who’ve also been assessed under the same criteria.
Importantly, the MONEYVAL report findings praised Jersey’s long-established system for transparency of ultimate beneficial owners. It said Jersey has
“a mature and sophisticated regime for tackling money laundering and the financing of terrorism”.
The report is timely: it follows hard on the heels of the Panama Papers controversy and the UK Anti-Corruption Conference, where financial centres have been brought into question in mainstream debates. This report powerfully reinforces Jersey's cooperative and compliant stance as a world class International Finance Centre, which clearly distinguishes it from other centres – a point that is easily overlooked in wider public debates.
Should a client, investor or any other party ever question or simply not fully understand Jersey’s credentials as a finance centre, the MONEVAL findings offer a thorough, expert and unbiased analysis, measured against global standards.
I can’t resist sharing a final quote from MONEYVAL:
“Jersey’s combination of a central register of the UBO with a high level of vetting/evaluation not found elsewhere and regulation of TCSPs of a standard found in few other jurisdictions has been widely recognised by international organisations and individual jurisdictions as placing Jersey in a leading position in meeting standard of beneficial ownership transparency.”
I couldn't have put it better myself!