Jersey is grey

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Jersey Law firm BakerPlatt (who, I admit I had never heard of) got themselves in Accountancy Age saying:

Having researched the background to some of the countries included, we question why countries that fall behind recognised international standards are on the list, whilst finance centres such as Jersey, the Bahamas and the Cayman are not.

I can solve that problem for them very easily. Some of the countries on the white list may not look as good on paper as Jersey and Cayman but there are fundamental differences. First, the places on the white list do try to enforce their money-laundering regimes, even if on paper they are not as good as those in the tax havens.

Second, in the tax havens there is no capacity to enforce the money-laundering regulations. Jersey only get by right now with some borrowed UK policeman.

Third, in the tax havens the entire process has in effect been captured by the professional services firms and banks and everyone knows it so that there is little or no prospect of any prosecution ever taking place, as the National Audit Office report last November showed.

And it is not how good you are on paper that matters in this game, it is how good you are in using it that counts and it is now very clear that the tax havens have neither the will, the capacity or the necessary social structure within their society that can provide the necessary distance between the regulator and the regulated to ever enable them to effectively regulate the financial services activities that take place within their domains.

And no amount of bluster from local professional firms will ever change that.