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Espresso briefing: New Financial Disclosure Law

Published: 11 January 2021

Background

The Financial Services (Disclosure and Provision of Information) (Jersey) Law 2020 (“New Law“) came into force 6 January 2021.

The New Law brings Jersey into line with international standards in respect of compliance and transparency.

Key changes

The changes introduced by the New Law include:

  • A new online public register for Jersey entities.
  • The word “entity” is defined in the New Law as meaning Companies; Foundations; Incorporated Limited Partnerships; Limited Liability Companies; Limited Liability Partnerships; Separate Limited Partnerships; Limited Partnerships; and any other prescribed bodies or persons.
  • These entities must submit the identity of ‘Significant Persons’ to the JFSC. This information about Significant Persons will be publicly available.
  • These entities must also submit details of beneficial ownership to the JFSC. This information about beneficial owners will not be publicly available until international standards have been agreed.
  • Increased disclosure obligations for Foundations.
  • Annual returns are replaced by annual confirmation statements.
  • The requirement for entities to appoint a ‘Nominated Person’.

Viberts’ Views

Some of the changes introduced by the New Law are highly significant.

Corporate services providers should consider updating their client terms and conditions in light of the changes introduced by the New Law.

The definition of beneficial ownership will, broadly speaking, remain as per the current JFSC guidance and the Money Laundering (Jersey) Order 2008. However, the JFSC will release further clarification in due course.

Entities will be able to apply to the JFSC for exemptions in respect of the disclosure of publicly available information.

The deadline to file the new annual confirmation statement for this year is 30 April 2021 rather than 28 February 2021.

Similar moves by other jurisdictions to international standards of transparency have not been without controversy. On 23 October 2020 Mishcon de Reya LLP filed a claim with the Luxembourg courts to challenge a decision taken by the Luxembourg Business Register concerning making clients’ private details public. This was the first of its kind in Europe.  The claim alleges that the indiscriminate and generalised publication, in the public domain, of personal details of individuals connected to family enterprises breaches their fundamental rights to data protection and privacy and exposes them to unnecessary and disproportionate risks.  The judgment may have an impact on the application of Jersey’s legislation.

We remain on hand to assist with any legal queries your business may have. If you need any advice regarding corporate, fund, banking, insolvencies or contractual queries, please do not hesitate to contact us on paul.wilson@viberts.com.

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