Friday 15 July 2016
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 other jurisdictions.
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. The island has also signed an Exchange of Notes (available for download on this page) 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.
Vice President of the Policy & Resources Committee, Deputy 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 small."
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.
A list of the countries committed to supporting the G5-led initiative can be a found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/beneficial-ownership-countries-that-have-pledged-to-exchange-information/countries-committed-to-sharing-beneficial-ownership-information