‘Guernsey can help UK with its regulation’
GUERNSEY would still be happy to help the UK in the regulation of trust and company services providers, the president of Policy & Resources has said in a national newspaper.
Writing as ‘Chief minister of Guernsey’ in a letter published in yesterday’s Times, Gavin St Pier said that in the wake of the newspaper’s investigation into Formations House there had been calls for TCSPs to be regulated and the island welcomed this.
A Times article had reported on how it was possible to create a British firm without disclosing its owner’s real identity.
‘However, giving Companies House more resources and seeking to evolve it into a regulator is an inadequate response to the scale of the challenge faced by the UK,’ wrote Deputy St Pier.
Only by regulating and licensing TCSPs, with a penalty and enforcement regime for breaches, would standards be raised adequately, he said.
He pointed out that in Guernsey it was a requirement for TCSPs to know the owner of their Guernsey companies at any time and to keep a local register updated.
‘Strict money-laundering rules and sanctions regulation also apply, making a high bar of due diligence before company formation.’
He said the island would welcome the opportunity to share its almost 20 years of experience to address the problems highlighted by the Times’ investigation.
Deputy St Pier later highlighted his letter on Twitter: ‘If UK serious about upping game in fighting financial crime, it needs to up its ambition in relation to regulation of trust and company service providers/formation agents,’ he said, ‘and be willing to learn from those jurisdictions that have experience of doing so.’