GAT Subscription Renewals
Guernsey Association of Trustees 2016 Corporate & Personal Membership Subscriptions renewals will shortly be issued. We are pleased to confirm that Membership fees again remain unchanged in 2016. To help keep administration costs to a minimum, we request that you expedite settlement pay subscription fees on receipt of your invoice.
EU COMMISSION ANTI-TAX AVOIDANCE PACKAGE
28 January 2016
Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, Chief Minister of Guernsey said:
“On 13 January, for the second time in eight months, Tax Commissioner Moscovici said in very clear terms that Guernsey is seen by the EU Commission as a cooperative jurisdiction in fighting tax evasion, fraud and abusive tax avoidance.
“The publication of the EU Commission’s anti-tax avoidance proposals is to be welcomed, as is the publication of the proposed ‘BEPS Directive’ that sets out a plan for the EU’s adoption of the OECD’s anti-BEPS package. The move towards clear and consistently applied global standard is constructive, and something that Guernsey has long demonstrated a commitment to through the steps it has taken.
“The BEPS Working Party, chaired by Deputy St Pier, is already considering what specific steps might need to be taken response to the anti-BEPS package, and the BEPS Working Party and Policy Council will be looking closely at the proposals in the package announced today. Guernsey will continue to engage with EU Member States and the EU Commission, as well as the OECD, on this work.
“Guernsey is, as Commissioner Moscovici has recognised, part of the solution and not part of the problem.”
Comment from Commissioner Moscovici, 13 January 2016
“I very much welcome the continued active engagement of Guernsey and Jersey in the key international initiatives for fighting tax evasion, fraud and abusive tax avoidance, in which they are important partners of the EU. Their implementation of the Common Reporting Standard on automatic exchange of information from the 1st January, and their support of the BEPS programme, alongside the EU Member States, are particularly noteworthy and reinforce their standing as cooperative jurisdictions.”
GAT Response to the Joint Consultation Paper re 4th AML Directive
The Fourth AML Directive came into force on 26 June 2015 and must be transposed into national laws of Member States by 26 June 2017. Under the Third AML Directive, financial institutions could rely on a ‘white list’ of countries outside of the EU, where according to the regulators, the AML regimes were considered equivalent to those within the EU Member States. The Fourth AML Directive repealed the ‘white list.’
Under the new regime, financial institutions must conduct country specific risk assessments for any jurisdiction outside of the EU where such financial institutions do business.
Article 17 and 18(4) of the Fourth AML Directive require the European Supervisory Authorities to issue guidelines on the risk factors to be considered when undertaking simplified and enhanced due diligence.
These Guidelines were issued for consultation on 21 October 2015 with a closing date for responses by 22 January 2016. Rhona Humphreys, Deputy Chair has issued a response and this can be viewed here.
Guernsey Finance News
Please help us make the opening of Guernsey’s Hong Kong office a success by sending the below invitation to your relevant contacts.
The launch event is a free-to-attend masterclass on 2 March at the China Club in Hong Kong. Keynote speaker Lord Flight will place the new office in context by discussing global trends in finance before an expert panel debate the key issues and how they fit within the context of the Hong Kong market and Guernsey’s finance industries. Hong Kong current affairs commentator Michael Chugani will moderate the panel session. He is the host of TVB’s Straight Talk, the most widely-watched English-language weekly TV current affairs talk show in Hong Kong.
Guernsey Finance – South Africa
GF are seeking support from industry to assist on the exhibition stand at the STEP South Africa conference. The conference is due to be held 4-5 April 2016 at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town. Guernsey are gold sponsors at this event. Further details about the conference are available on the event website – STEP South Africa. To register your interest in attending this event, please contact Kat Gillespie.
GF would also like to hear from local companies who have an interest in doing business in South Africa, regardless of whether you want to attend the STEP conference. Please contact Dominic Wheatley to discuss.
The Digital Greenhouse
Members will have seen the press launch of the DGH last week. At the moment the DGH is targeting specific business groups to court interest and to explain how Membership ( individual or corporate) can be of real benefit and opportunities to utilise the event space too. GAT would encourage individuals and business representatives to drop-in, have a show around and learn more. Opening times are currently 0900-1700. Further information can be found on the website www.digitalgreenhouse.gg or by contacting Mike Culverwell Director, Digital Greenhouse Guernsey. His contact details are mobile: 07781 161551 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Emergency Billet – There has been considerable debate between GIBA, the GFSC (and latterly Policy Council) on the increase in the level of fines that the GFSC can levy. Paul Backhouse led the discussions on behalf of GAT and our concerns were noted, discussed and, to a great degree taken on board. GIBA have put in a lot of work on this and the main area where discussion has taken place was on the level of personal fines and the manner in which fines could be applied / calculated.
GAT recognise that many members will have issues with this increase but a considerable amount of work has gone into this and there are a number of reasons for this. GAT supports GIBA in believing that what was achieved was as pragmatic and workable a solution as possible given the circumstances. If anyone has any concerns please contact a member of the GAT committee.
For those of you who have not studied it or kept up the results were published in an emergency billet which can be viewed here.
Handbook – Members may have noted that in the revised Handbook issued by the GFSC in the Annexe on page 324 there is section A.7.6 that deals with Online Utility Bills that states that an online utility bill can only be used as an address verification where it is simplified due diligence and a channel island relationship. GAT has raised this with the commission and have been approached by members as it is felt that this will cause severe difficulties. Dialogue is ongoing on this matter but if anyone has any particular concerns please raise these with a committee member.
Remember to check our Events Calendar for Industry presentations and other events that may be of interest.
Step Guernsey February Events 2015/16 Series
STEP Guernsey Lecture Series 2015/16 sponsored by Mourant Ozannes
Lunchtime Lecture No. 6
Date: Wednesday 3rd February 2016
Time: Registration 11.45am lecture starts at 12pm
Topic: Dissection of a Trust Deed
Speaker: Mark Ferbrache AFR Advocates
STEP Members and Non-members welcome. To book contact email@example.com/226281 or access booking forms here.
GAT & STEP Co-hosted Evening Lecture No. 6
Date: Thursday 11th February 2016
Time: Registration from 5.15pm, lecture starts at 5.30pm
Venue: The Main Hall, St James
Topic: Common Reporting Standard getting into the detail.
Summary: With CRS now live, and various CRS guidance notes being released (including those for Guernsey), Martin & Jo will update you on some of the key technical issues arising under the CRS regime, especially where there are differences from the FATCA analysis. In addition, they will share their experience so far of the practical issues being faced by local organisations as they continue to prepare for both FATCA and CRS. There will be time at the end of the session for questions from the audience.
Guest Speakers: Jo Huxtable & Martin Popplewell, Deloitte
Booking for this event is being handled by GAT – you will be directed to the GAT site when you click this link here to book. (Please ensure your IT department has lifted any firewall restrictions for the GAT website)
Trusts and Private Wealth practitioners Laila Arstall and Patricia Montgomery have been promoted to counsel as of January 1 2016.
Chairman, John Kelleher, said: “The promotions reflect their high levels of expertise as well as their dedication to the firm and its clients.
“We are committed to developing our practice teams across the group both through internal promotion and recruitment and I congratulate them as they move on to the next level in their careers.”
Data Protection – The Force Awakens
On 15 December, the European Council, Commission and Parliament agreed the text of the EU Data Protection Reform package. The package is part of a range of measures being progressed to facilitate the vision of a Single Digital Marketplace in Europe.
This is the largest change to data protection laws for many years, and a significant one in terms of the need to start planning for the changes at an early stage. Please read the publication here.
Carey Olsen welcomes news from Italy
Following on from numerous representations made to the Italian authorities, neither Guernsey nor Jersey will be listed on any Italian ‘black list’ from 1 January 2016. In addition Guernsey and Jersey will be included on a ‘white list’ for the purposes of tax treatment of interest from Government bonds and listed companies when that list is updated in early 2016 by Ministerial Decree. You can read more here.
Combatting Offshore Tax Evasion – The Focus on Enablers
The groundwork has been laid for a new level of tax transparency and it’s time for companies, individual taxpayers and financial institutions to prepare for the impact of these changes.
From the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) to the Common Reporting Standard and Base Erosion and Profit shifting (BEPS), the tax transparency agenda is having a significant operational impact on the global financial services sector. The UK has been at the forefront of these developments and is introducing further regulations as part of their ongoing strategy to combat offshore tax evasion. Please read more here.
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