In anticipation of yesterday's Anti-Corruption Summit in London, Jersey's Government confirmed our willingness to join the list of jurisdictions committed to the recently-launched initiative for the development and subsequent implementation of a new global standard for the exchange of beneficial ownership information.
A letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne MP, sent on Monday 9 May, confirmed that Jersey would actively participate, as it had done in the past, in the work on the development and assessment of compliance of the standard.
It is assumed the standard will be mandated by the G20 and set by the OECD and/or the FATF, and to which all members of the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes will be required to comply.
UK chancellor response to Jersey commitment
In his reply, which was received on yesterday, the Chancellor welcomed Jersey's commitment, saying:
"Jersey has taken a lead on global transparency as a cooperative jurisdiction, including through your early commitment to the Common Reporting Standard, your joining of the Multilateral Convention and the important role that you have played and continue to play in the Global Forum for Tax Transparency where you are rated Largely Compliant. This has been influential in helping achieve rapid global uptake of these standards and a step-change in global tax transparency.
"I have asked my officials to ensure that arrangements are put in place so that Jersey, along with other committed jurisdictions, will be able to participate in discussions as the global standard is developed. It will be important, as you say, to ensure that the new standard respects the confidentiality and security of data and that appropriate legal gateways are in place. I also very much agree with your comments about the importance of a level playing field and hope that we can work together to convince all countries and jurisdictions to join this initiative."
UK property ownership
As expected, UK property ownership was raised at the summit, with the Prime Minister confirming that the UK would establish a public register of company beneficial ownership information for foreign companies who own or buy property in the UK.
A consultation on exactly how the public register will work is being prepared, and we are waiting for more detailed information on exactly what it will entail. This follows March's consultation into enhancing the transparency of foreign companies.