As from 2009, the Finance Act 2008 authorised HMRC to issue
information notices requiring UK financial institutions to provide
HMRC with certain information and documentation, within their power
or possession, relating to account holders who have an address
within the United Kingdom and who hold a non-United Kingdom
account. A non-United Kingdom account is an account where the money
or assets relevant to the account are held outside of England,
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Information held by offshore subsidiaries or branches
If a UK financial institution receives a notice and has a
subsidiary or maintains a branch in the Channel Islands, its
response to HMRC depends on the particular factual position
applying to that institution. However, the UK financial institution
should always keep in mind its duty of confidentiality owed to its
customers and any data protection issues under local laws. The
financial institutional should consider the following points as a
The legal structure of its Channel Island business;
The local rules as to confidentiality, how these apply in each
case and how they are affected by any contractual arrangements made
between the Channel Island entity and its customers;
The extent to which the onshore financial institution has
documents or information relating to customers of the subsidiary or
branch available to it without the need to access the written
records or computer network (and servers) which support the
What arrangements need to be made to secure compliance with the
Data Protection (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2001 and the Data
Protection (Jersey) Law, 2005 when dealing with Channel Island
Whether, if an onshore institution already has de facto access
to subsidiary or branch customer information, such information was
delivered in breach of any duty of confidentiality and, if so, what
might be done about that; and
How any information which is available should best be
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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