Jersey's positive role in helping to drive forward and shape
the international transparency landscape has been praised by a
senior OECD tax expert at this year's Jersey Finance Annual
London Private Client Conference.
Addressing an audience of more than 400 senior private client
tax, trust and wealth management professionals at the event, held
at 8 Northumberland Avenue on 13 May and entitled 'Mapping the
Future', Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD Center for
Tax Policy and Administration, highlighted the "tremendous job
Jersey has done contributing to the international tax agenda".
Emphasising the complexities for jurisdictions and firms now there
are multiple models in place for information exchange, he
"It is important to recognise the role of small
jurisdictions in the work we are doing. We aim to deliver a level
playing field for all jurisdictions and Jersey was one of the best
and first in grabbing this opportunity to shape the
Meanwhile, during two panel sessions at the conference, which is
now one of the largest dedicated private client conferences in
London, panellists referred to the introduction of the OECD's
Common Reporting Standard (CRS), which will come into play in the
UK as from 1 January 2016, as a "quantum leap" for firms,
suggesting that there is real potential for greater market share
for jurisdictions like Jersey that have already made the investment
in meeting and exceeding global standards.
In a warning to the wealth management sector, panellists also
suggested that although jurisdictions like Jersey had done all they
could to provide a framework for effective information exchange, it
was now up to firms to make sure they had ability, expertise and
technology to make sure this worked in practice and that
information was accurate.
In another keynote speech at the conference, Philip Marcovici,
former CEO of LawInContext and partner at Baker & McKenzie,
called for a greater level of proactivity from all jurisdictions if
compliance was not to spiral out of control, whilst he also
questioned how the increasing flows of data could be guaranteed to
be used securely and appropriately by governments, particularly in
The conference was moderated by Stephanie Flanders, who also
gave a talk in which she discussed the current state of the markets
and the importance of productivity as the UK attempts to resolve
its debt issues, whilst the event concluded with the views of
behavioural economist and award-winning FT columnist Tim
Panellists at the event included Colin Powell CBE (Government of
Jersey), Richard Hay (Solicitor, Stikeman Elliott), George Hodgson
(Deputy Chief Executive, STEP), Naomi Rive (Chief Trust Officer,
Coutts & Co Trustees (Jersey)), Nick Jacob (Partner, Wragge
Lawrence Graham & Co), John Riches (Partner, RMW Law), James
Campbell (Partner, Bedell Group), and Ian Crosby (Managing
Director, Stonehage Financial Service Holdings (Jersey)).
Geoff Cook, CEO, Jersey Finance, who introduced the
"What came across strongly at this event was just how well
respected Jersey is not just in its ability to meet international
standards of information exchange but also to exceed them, and this
was reflected quite powerfully in Pascal's very welcome
comments. Jersey has invested a significant amount of time and
energy into positioning itself right at the cutting edge of
information exchange and for that reason the introduction of the
CRS shouldn't be as big a challenge for Jersey firms as it
might be for those in other jurisdictions.
"The certainty that can offer the private wealth community
will be a real competitive advantage for Jersey as investors
increasingly seek centres that can offer high standards and
effective asset protection capabilities."
Pascal Saint-Amans' comments follow similar endorsement for
Jersey from senior EU figures earlier this month. Pierre Moscovici,
European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, praised
the Channel Islands' "active engagement" in
combatting tax evasion, fraud and abusive tax avoidance and
referred to the Islands as "important partners to the
EU", whilst Jonathan Hill, EU Commissioner with responsibility
for financial stability, financial services and capital markets,
underlined the importance Jersey places on "good regulatory
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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