Following Guernsey's commitment to establish a central
register of beneficial ownership it has made two formal
declarations relating to the exchange of that information with
Guernsey has committed to an emerging international initiative,
led by the G5 countries, on the automatic exchange of beneficial
ownership information, further reinforcing its place as a leader in
transparency. Guernsey has also signed an Exchange of Notes with
the Government of the United Kingdom in respect of the mutual
sharing of beneficial ownership information.
The G5-led initiative, which will see the development and
implementation of a new international standard for the automatic
exchange of beneficial ownership information, should provide a
global level playing field that has significant potential to help
law enforcement authorities tackle the misuse of corporate and
other structures, including misuse through financial crime, tax
evasion and money laundering.
The Exchange of Notes establishes the commitment of Guernsey and
the UK to provide law enforcement authorities, including tax
authorities, of each jurisdiction with beneficial ownership
information for legal entities. The agreement leverages
Guernsey's long-standing ability to provide high quality
beneficial ownership information. Guernsey has been regulating
corporate service providers since 2000 and was one of the first
jurisdictions, globally, to do so.
Guernsey's Deputy Chief Minister and Guernsey Finance
Chairman Lyndon Trott said: "As a jurisdiction at the
forefront of transparency, international cooperation and
international engagement it will come as no surprise that Guernsey
supports the new G5 initiative and we look forward to working with
the global community on its development and implementation.
"I am also pleased we have agreed the Exchange of Notes in
relation to the sharing of beneficial ownership information with
the UK. With our establishment of a beneficial ownership register,
we will be building on the system we already have in place, which
includes a legal obligation for corporate service providers to
retain beneficial ownership information. This, coupled with our
system of regulation, will ensure that we have a register that is
accurate and verifiable. We have been a world leader in regulatory
standards and have much experience to bring to the global community
on these international initiatives, for countries large and
Guernsey has long been committed to implementing and maintaining
international standards as well as being aligned with the UK in its
anti-corruption and anti-tax evasion agendas. These latest
commitments are made in the context of a number of international
and regional initiatives to improve access to high quality
beneficial ownership information, and the prevention and detection
of corruption, money laundering and terrorism financing.
Many people are baffled by trusts, the purpose of which they don't fully comprehend. Some even regard them with suspicion, as tools of of opaque tax evasion strategies of a type favoured by wealthy individuals.
We were recently instructed by a Bank in relation to a regulatory matter. The Bank had made a suspicious activity report to the Financial Investigation Unit ("FIU") due to their concerns about the potential source of funds in an account.
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