Jersey applies the "Recommendations" of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which are recognised as the global standard in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing. Part of those Recommendations relate to beneficial ownership and control information (BOC) of legal persons or legal arrangements.
FATF Recommendations 24 and 25 require countries to ensure that adequate, accurate and timely information on the beneficial ownership and control of legal persons or on express trusts that can be obtained or accessed in a timely fashion by competent authorities. The aim of Recommendations 24 and 25 is to drill-down to the identification of persons who are the beneficial owners and controllers of legal persons or legal arrangements so they cannot hide their identity. This is to prevent illegal activities via corporate entities or trusts that can disguise identities and convert the proceeds of crime.
Beneficial owners and controllers of legal persons can be shareholders, ultimate beneficial owners, directors, non-executive directors, or some other form of relationship. They can be the same people or different people. Beneficial owners and controllers of legal arrangements, particularly express trusts, can be the settlor, protector, beneficiary, classes of beneficiaries or any other persons exercising ultimate effective control over the legal arrangement.
Filing BOC Information
Whenever a legal person is incorporated, the beneficial owner and controller information at the time of incorporation is provided to the Companies Registry which maintains a separate register of beneficial owners and controllers. After incorporation, consent pursuant to the Control of Borrowing (Jersey) Order 1958 (COBO Consent) places an obligation on the legal person to keep the BOC information up-to-date. Put simply, whenever there is a change of BOC information (i.e. an addition, removal or amendment), the legal person is required to update the register of beneficial owners and controllers pursuant to a BOC17 form. Failure to do so can result in penalties.
Regime Change for 2021
The Financial Services (Disclosure and Provision of Information) (Jersey) Law 202- (FSDL) is expected to come into force as from 1 December 2020 and be operational from 1st January 2021. It will bring Jersey up-to-date with MoneyVal's assessment in relation to Jersey's implementation of FATF Recommendation 24 by introducing a specific legislative framework for the collection of BOC information currently undertaken pursuant to COBO Consent. Practically, the initial impact of the FSDL should be minimal as Jersey already has a central register of beneficial owners and controllers.
More information on the FSDL can be found here (including the introduction of an annual confirmation statement, a significant person register (i.e. register of directors), nominated persons for filing at the JFSC, new penalties and a new digital registry) and here relating to foundations.
Originally published 26 Aug 2020
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.