The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, has written to all the Crown Dependencies and the Overseas Territories following the publication last week of the UK Government’s report on its proposals to enhance the transparency of UK company ownership. 

In his letter to the Chief Minster, Mr Cameron welcomed the Crown Dependencies’ decisions to join the United Kingdom in leading work to raise standards of transparency globally. He said: “I appreciate that Jersey already has a central registry of company beneficial ownership in place and I welcome your publication of a consultation on its effectiveness.”

The Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, commented: “I welcome the Prime Minister’s recognition of our long-established leading approach to transparency on beneficial ownership, which has also been recognised by the World Bank and others. However, what could also be added is our comprehensive licensing and regulation of trust and company service providers, which are not included in the United Kingdom Government’s proposals. We consider such provisions to be essential for law enforcement and for tax authorities to obtain, as they can from us, accurate, adequate and up-to-date information on beneficial ownership to help combat tax evasion, money laundering and corruption.

“Once we know the outcome of our consultation, we will be in a position to respond to the Prime Minister’s letter. In doing so, we will be considering how the approaches adopted by the UK Government and other G8/G20 members to enhancing transparency on beneficial ownership compare with what  is able to be achieved with our own approach.”