A high-profile House of Commons debate to consider a set of amendments to the Financial Services Bill and the UK’s power to legislate for the Crown Dependencies has been deferred. We are continuing to monitor the position closely and will provide a further update, if appropriate.

The debate was to take place this afternoon to agree on amendments to legislation relating to the creation of public registers on the Crown Dependencies by 31 December 2020. The Financial Services Bill aims to prepare the UK’s financial services industry for a possible no deal Brexit. The UK government is committed to passing this Bill by Brexit Day of 29 March.

Commenting on the latest development, Joe Moynihan, Chief Executive, Jersey Finance said ‘Jersey is committed to the highest standards of regulation and transparency. The Industry remains confident that Jersey’s central register of beneficial ownership offers the best way of achieving continuing compliance with international standards. Our system, which has been rigorously assessed by the respected global standard setters on many occasions over the years, includes careful verification by the service providers, who are regulated and required to undertake checks on the ownership data provided. Such ownership information is then freely available on request to the people that need it, the regulators and law enforcement officials, and through this approach, we also ensure that the individuals’ right to confidentiality in financial affairs is retained.

The Government of Jersey has made clear that it is a respected constitutional position that the United Kingdom does not legislate for Jersey on domestic matters, without its consent. We welcome and support their ongoing dialogue with officials in Westminster about the implications. Alongside that issue, there remain question marks over public registers, both in terms of their efficacy and their intrusion into personal privacy.

Until those questions are answered, we believe strongly that Jersey’s approach to compliant confidentiality and its regulated beneficial ownership model, in which it has led the way among International Finance Centres globally, is the most effective.’

Please click here to view a joint statement released today from the Governments of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man in response to the deferral.