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The Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey started work in May on proposals for a review of their anti-money laundering regimes
The Jersey Financial Industry Association has set up a committee to investigate the issue. The committee is chaired by Simon Gould, financial services partner at Jersey firm Mourant Du Feu & Jeune and includes Matthew Thompson, litigation partner at Jersey and Guernsey's Ogier & Le Masurier. Industry associations of the three offshore jurisdictions will provide their proposals in the spring of 2003, which will be based on a joint consultation paper issued by the three islands in December 2000 titled 'Overriding Principles for a Revised Know Your Customer Framework'. The islands, which claim to have anti-laundering standards on a par with England's (said to be the most far-reaching in the world) will consider whether to adopt international benchmark standards laid down by the European Commission and the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering's 40 recommendations. Thompson said: "The key issue is to what extent information is required in financial services businesses, particularly when providing services for another financial services institution. For example, when bank A invests with a stockbroker, is the bank or the underlying customer the client? How much information do they need about the underlying owner of the original assets? Currently, institutions rely on each other to ensure such matters as appropriate due diligence are done. The question here is how much this should change. "The real practical importance is to strike a balance between the interests of business and customers and of catching crooks."