Jersey Finance, the promotional body responsible for the island's finance industry, has been asked by the States of Jersey to consult its members on whether to enter into a so-called 'FATCA type' agreement, including a disclosure facility, with the UK government or to explore other options.

The consultation period will last for three weeks until Friday 15th March.

The move follows on from months of planning for the introduction of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which was devised by the United States to help ensure that all American citizens pay the correct amount of tax to the US government, regardless of where in the world their assets and wealth are held. The UK is seeking to mirror the American agreement.

Geoff Cook, Jersey Finance CEO, said:

“This is an important and complex matter that we believe should be developed and agreed by a process of constructive consultation between all parties. It is our view that considerable work is still required to find a solution that meets the long-term needs of the UK, while at the same time avoiding the very real risks of disproportionate costs in terms of implementation and compliance, as well as any unintended consequences that might unduly harm the international competiveness of Jersey and other centres that form the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories.

“We are encouraged that representatives of the Jersey government are continuing discussions with their UK counterparts and, in particular, that they are highlighting the need to promote automatic exchange of information worldwide, on a level playing field basis.”

Details of the consultation process have been sent directly to all Jersey Finance member firms, who have been invited to either respond directly to the States, or to submit their comments to Jersey Finance for inclusion in a broader industry response.