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More "misconceptions" put right


Wednesday 13 March 2019

More "misconceptions" put right

While the UK government continues to try and find any sort of solution to its Brexit woes, two MPs have again been brought to task over "misconceptions" they've stated as fact over the Channel Island's financial affairs.

Deputy Gavin St Pier, and his political equivalent in Jersey, Senator John Le Fondre, have written to Andrew Mitchell MP and Dame Margaret Hodge MP again, to try and set the record straight.

They are still trying to convince the two politicians that they are wrong to try and pursue plans to bring their Financial Services (Implementation of Legislation) Bill to the House of Commons. 

margaret hodge andrew mitchell

Pictured: Dame Margaret Hodge and Andrew Mitchell MP. 

They've taken them to task particularly over the recent editorial in the Financial Times, which the UK MPs tried to use to bolster their arguments. Deputy St Pier and Senator Le Fondre have now told them in a joint letter that they're wrong to do so.

"Whilst we agree with the thrust of the objectives to tackle money laundering and tax evasion as outlined in the Financial Times’ editorial, which you enclosed with your letter, the editorial demonstrates a number of misconceptions that are at the heart of the issue. The Channel Islands are not part of the United Kingdom (UK), nor can they be described as a UK territory," they wrote.

Deputy St Pier and Senator Le Fondre told the UK MPs that both islands continue to be; "committed to recognised international standards, including those of the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) on transparency of legal persons and the standards of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) in relation to the retention and disclosure of information for tax purposes (which includes beneficial ownership information)."

They said:

"We exchange tax and beneficial ownership information on that very basis and voluntarily submit ourselves to international assessment in this regard. With respect, although the Financial Times may consider the UK has positioned itself as a ‘global leader’, the UK approach is not a common standard and the UK itself is ultimately benchmarked against international standards. The UK’s OECD Peer Review Report on the Exchange of Information on Request published in 2018 (for which it was assessed as overall‘Largely Compliant’) made plain the limitations of the accuracy of the UK’s beneficial ownership register. Such concerns over accuracy were not raised in reports of Guernsey and Jersey in which both jurisdictions were assessed as Compliant."

The letter can be read in full here. 


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