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says. In recent years, Jersey came out with guidelines on the questions financial institutions need to ask before letting people and corporations open accounts on the island. “These are the most comprehensive information documents that someone who wants to open an offshore account needs to fill out,” Lowe explains. “Jersey is already on its way to collecting the information needed to comply with these rules.” Exhibit A is a February 2008 application


be a Cayman entity. A guy in the US could own 10 per cent of that Cayman entity. “Essentially that is a US-owned account for the purposes of FATCA,” Lowe says. “Banks will have to do a lot of diligence


to find out who these account holders really are,” she adds. “Or banks can avoid all the work and withhold 30 per cent of US payments from accounts.” Still, Jersey may be the best placed of all offshore centres to deal with FATCA, Lowe


form from AIBJerseytrust, part of Allied Irish Banks. On nine pages, applicants are asked for details of the beneficial owner of the account, including residential address, phone number, sources of wealth, nationality and country of residence. They must also provide a passport or national identity card certified by a professional, plus an original utility bill with the beneficial owner’s home address, along with a reference from a lawyer or accountant confirming their source of wealth. Jack Blum, an expert on money laundering


and offshore tax evasion, showed the AIBJerseytrust form to Senators during


Congressional testimony in November, showing how easy it is to hide money using legal loopholes in states such as Delaware. “I was recently on the island of Jersey


where I met with trust company officials who showed me the questionnaire they require of anyone wanting to set up a Jersey structure,” Blum said. “We should be able to meet the standard they have set.” Harris, from the JFSC, was more modest


about the current requirements: “The Commission does publish comprehensive guidance for firms on how to meet their anti- money-laundering obligations. These have not been designed with FATCA in mind, but will establish information requirements that will facilitate FATCA compliance in due course.” FATCA’s impact on the Channel Islands


may not be huge – but when it arrives, they will be better prepared than most. n


ALISTAIR BARR is an award-winning business journalist. Originally from Jersey, he now works for business news website MarketWatch in San Francisco


30 businesslife.je June/July 2010


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