Jersey consults on detailed rules for beneficial ownership reporting

Monday, 03 August 2020
Jersey has begun consulting on secondary legislation regarding the beneficial ownership disclosure provisions of the Financial Services (Disclosure and Provision of Information) Law, which was enacted on 14 July.
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The law has been slightly delayed by the coronavirus epidemic and is now not expected to come into force until 1 December 2020. In the meantime, the secondary legislation is required to specify what ownership information must be provided to the regulator, and what subset of this information will be publicly available when the register of significant persons is opened up in accordance with the global Financial Action Task Force's (FATF’s) Recommendation 24.

Not all of the information submitted by companies is intended to appear on the public part of the register and, in some cases, some of the items can be withheld from the open register by special request.

The provisional date for opening up the register is 31 May 2021, or three months after the allowed reporting period.

It has already been decided that the public register of significant persons will not contain details of minors, company secretaries or significant persons of share transfer companies. Moreover, limited partnerships have been removed from the definition of 'entities' for which beneficial ownership information must be submitted.

The consultation ends on 4 September. In the meantime, the Jersey government is working on amendments to Article 27 of the law, which had to be withdrawn from the 14 July vote because it included a prohibition on entities acting as nominee directors, which caused concerns in the industry. The government is continuing to liaise with the industry to adjust the precise requirements in relation to nominee directors, in order to mitigate any associated risks and still achieve compliance with the FATF recommendations.

The draft regulations now under consultation also contain consequential amendments that will re-introduce the other provisions of Article 27, namely a prohibition on issuing bearer shares and an ability for the registrar to maintain a record of disqualified directors.

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