Just tell us the truth

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A commentator on this blog said recently:

The JFSC does know how many trusts are in Jersey. Just because this information is not made public what is the big deal?

He later added:

Every regulated entity must supply complete details of every client for compliance and licensing requirements and this includes Trusts. Believe me. They know what Trusts are in existence.

I challenged him, saying:

Please prove it. Chapter and verse. Details of what is provided. Precisely. And what statute and regulation requires it. And what details of the client have to be given, precisely. But I stress: chapter and verse. With reference to actual regulation, and documents.

To which his response has been:

With all due respect, but what authority do you have over Jersey to provide you with any proof? I know that the JFSC has a listing of all clients and it is part of the licence requirement and thats that.

This transparency argument is flawed, it is simply an untruth.

Which I find extraordinary. I am told the transparency argument is flawed, and yet all I am doing here is asking for a reference to regulation that proves this person's case, and I am denied that evidence.

So let me weight the evidence of the respective arguments. First, I have been told repeatedly by people in Jersey that the Jersey authorities do not know how many trusts are in the island because there is no register of trusts and no obligation for their existence to be reported. For example, there is no requirement that they submit a tax return.

Second, I know of no regulatory authority with regard to money laundering in the world that requires a registered person to submit their client list to that regulatory authority. Why should they?

Third, I will reasonably presume from the failure to produce the evidence that I requested that there is no documentation that does actually require submission of this client list.

In that case, I stand by my argument. No one anywhere has any idea how many trusts there are in Jersey, and whether as a result they are regulated or not. What we do know is that not one of those trusts is required to produce accounts for any form of public inspection, and so long as they are for the benefit of nonresidents, not one has to submit a tax return anywhere, least of all in Jersey.

In that case I think my argument about transparency is proven.

I think I've proven something else as well: those who bluster from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man on this blog are just blustering. There is no substance to their argument.