My correspondence with a member of the financial services community in Guernsey is continuing.
I have made a simple suggestion to him. This is that every bank in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man had a duty after 1 July 2005 to report all their customers to whom the EU Savings Tax Directive applied and who did not agree to exchange information with the tax authorities in their home country to their relevant island money laundering authority on the grounds that those banks must have had suspicion as a consequence that the recipient of the interest was evading tax liabilities on that income. I am personally of the opinion that no other opinion that they could have held by the banks in question. As a matter of fact no such reports were made by banks in Jersey, at least.
My correspondent (whose real identity I do not know but who is clearly experienced within the industry) has offered every excuse possible as to why the banks should not have reported. I consider all of them to be inappropriate and an evasion of responsibility on the part of the banks. As such I think the banks in question have breached their legal obligations and might be liable to criminal prosecution.
But now that correspondent has made a request that appears reasonable. Might anyone for the money laundering authorities involved, HM Revenue & Customs or any other European tax authority wish to offer opinion on this issue and suggest who might be right and how the resulting reporting (if necessary) should have been handled so that an appropriate way forward might be found?
It would be good to hear from them, and I am aware that all the parties to whom request is being made to read this blog.