TWO UK MPs who are campaigning for a public register of beneficial ownership to be implemented in Jersey have said that they ‘remain committed’ to their cause following a visit to the Island this week. reports the Jersey Evening Post
Dame Margaret Hodge and former Tory party chief whip Andrew Mitchell are both pushing for the change and have also visited the Isle of Man and Guernsey.
Following a vote on an amendment to a UK anti-money-laundering bill, a public register – which reveals who ultimately owns a company – will need to be implemented within British Overseas Territories by the end of 2020.
But Jersey – as a Crown Dependency – was not included within the amendment. However, in June, Mr Mitchell said that the UK Parliament could force the register on Jersey if it did not do so voluntarily.
In a statement, Dame Margaret explained her and Mr Mitchell’s position following their visit to the Island.
‘On Monday, I travelled to Jersey with my colleague Andrew Mitchell MP. We shared cordial exchanges of views with representatives of the States of Jersey and of the financial services sector on the Island,’ she said.
‘We both remain committed to our campaign for public registers of beneficial ownership in Jersey.
‘The whole of the UK family, including the Crown Dependencies, must have the same levels of financial transparency.’
Jersey currently has a closed list accessible only to law enforcement and tax authorities and it is feared that a public list could undermine the confidentiality of some of Jersey’s financial services users.