Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man have introduced tough new measures to combat money-laundering i...
Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man have introduced tough new measures to combat money-laundering in a bid to stave off pressure from neighbouring countries which are threatening to impose sanctions unless they tighten up rules and open the information exchange.
Although all three financial regulatory commissions already had anti-money laundering regimes which the US, UK and France has decreed were "close to complete adherence", efforts have been increasing to reform the offshore financial market and allow companies and governments to do background checks on assets where foul play and money laundering is suspected to be taking place.
In addition to being required to already know their own customers, banks and other institutions will now be required to look beyond their customers (for example, when they are trusts or companies) to establish the principals behind them so money deposited in accounts and trusts can be traced.
Companies will now be required to prove they have carried out due diligence checks on the customer, even where one company has referred the business and already completed the necessary diligence checks.
Changes have been made following the continual correspondence with the Financial Action Task Force, which was designed to stamp out money-laundering in financial centres.
In a joint statement the Directors General - Peter Neville for Guernsey, John Aspden for the Isle of Man and Richard Pratt for Jersey, said:
"We are determined to ensure that the success of our finance centres in attracting honest money does not open up opportunities to criminals, terrorists or corrupt leaders and their associates. This document is an important milestone in our joint commitment to achieve this aim. By establishing a common platform between our three jurisdictions, we demonstrate our determination to ensure that our finance industries continue to meet international standards. The finance industries in the three Islands are being asked to invest in their own future by putting in place a regime which any clear-thinking and honest client will understand and welcome."
While officials are keen to promote their stance on money-laundering, international life office officials are already questioning how soon all three Crown dependent territories will be placed under pressure to hand over a customer's information to government tax offices on the suspicion of tax evasion, followed by further pressure to alter tax limits.
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