Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man to reveal who owns offshore firms

James Salmon, 21st June 2019.

The light is to be shone on companies from the islands of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man

Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man are to adopt public registers of the true owners of offshore companies incorporated in their jurisdictions, with fully public registers to be introduced by 2023.

This is a welcome and long overdue development for all of us seeking the transparency needed to combat fraud, money laundering and other potentially criminal activities.

We can only hope that  other British Overseas Territories will follow this lead.

Secret company records in Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man will become publicly available, the islands said. The beneficial ownership registers, which show the ultimate owner of a company, are currently only accessible by local authorities in the UK’s Crown Dependencies.

The new plans would see the records made available to the EU, businesses, and the general public by 2023.

The islands have faced huge pressure from MPs to make the change.

In the UK, the names of anyone who owns more than 25% of a registered company are publicly available.

Guernsey’s Chief Minister Gavin St Pier said the move was bringing the islands into line with “regional standards” of financial transparency, and that he did not expect that it would discourage businesses from operating there.

While only the local authorities have direct access to the registers in the Crown Dependencies, foreign governments are handed information on request.

In March 2019 a cross party group of MPs, led by Labour’s Dame Margaret Hodge and Andrew Mitchell from the Conservatives, attempted to force the Crown Dependencies to make their registers public.

Despite more than 40 MPs signing their proposals, their efforts were unsuccessful, and the legislation was limited to Overseas Territories.

What are the plans?

2021: The dependencies plan to merge their registers with their EU equivalents
2022: Businesses will be given access in order to do their “due diligence”
2023: The governments of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man will bring legislation before their parliaments to make their registers publicly available

Offshore ownership pledge welcomed

With Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man vowing to adopt public registers detailing ownership of offshore companies incorporated in their jurisdictions, MP David Davis has welcomed the move, saying it means “greater transparency and less tax evasion”.

Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell commented: “We’ve insisted on greater tax transparency, so welcome these moves.”

MP Margaret Hodge and the Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell, who have suggested legislation should be used to force the dependencies to introduce the registers, welcomed the new announcement as “an important first step towards our goal of ensuring greater transparency in the fight against tax avoidance, tax evasion and money laundering”.

However, they have called for clarification over some elements of the proposals, saying the 2023 timetable for implementing the new registers was “unacceptably long”, that current proposals would grant banks and accountants access to the information before the public and the media, and that it was unclear if the data would be free of charge.

Not all are happy

Tony Mancini, president of the Guernsey International Business Association, said confidentiality was the “bedrock” of Guernsey’s financial model and to “unilaterally” discard it could be economically damaging.

He argued Guernsey’s register is “superior” to the UK equivalent because the information is verified by registered trust companies.

John Shenton, a director at the Jersey branch of Grant Thornton, said the move would unnecessarily risk individuals’ private information being exposed to “tabloid sensationalism”, given it is available to the authorities for “legitimate reasons” already.

Dame Margaret said she welcomed the proposed change, but expressed scepticism about how “transparent” the final register would be until further clarifications were made by the islands.

“Their action plan is awash with get out clauses, and we still do not know what the register will ultimately look like”, she added.

Do you sell to companies from the islands?

CPA provides credit reports for its members on companies registered Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. However it company is subject of a fresh investigation and the information available falls far short of the information available for main land companies.

Caution is always advised therefore when selling on credit to companies from the islands.

Any steps taken therefore to provide more information are therefore welcomed.

Do you sell on credit?

With pressures on the UK economy it is essential that you stay on top of the credit limits you grant customers and watch carefully for any late payments.

With tightening cash flow they will look for the easiest option  to boost their cash-flow. Don’t let it be you.

You can’t just assume your customers can and will pay you, no matter how big their name is.

It is essential to have credit management systems in place to monitor and check your customers credit worthiness.

It is also best practice to use a trusted third party like CPA to make sure you are paid on time by customers, no matter how good a name they have.

See the section below – About CPA.

About CPA

The Credit Protection Association can help!

Formed in 1914, CPA has been providing credit management services to SMEs for over 100 years.

At the Credit Protection Association, we provide first class credit information that can help you avoid being over extended to customers who are at risk. Our monitoring service can flag up warning signs long before the end, giving you the chance to adjust and reduce your exposure. We provide recommended credit limits and credit scores on a traffic light system and can help you set appropriate credit policies for your customers.

We regularly publish lists of the latest insolvencies but by then it is too late. Our credit reports however predict approximately 96% of company insolvencies long before they arrive.

Companies in trouble usually have very bad cash flow and they try to deal with it by delaying payment to their suppliers, increasing your exposure to them.

If you supply on credit, help us help you identify the risks.

Why use a third party collector?

As a third party collector, we can also get your payments prioritised over those who are not as hot on collections. When you customer receives a letter from the Credit Protection Association regarding their outstanding account, they are going to want to get that resolved as a priority. Our overdue account recovery service can get your unpaid invoices to the top of their “to do” list and get your invoice paid.

Over the years we have collected billions in overdue invoices for our customers.

Our debt recovery and credit management services give our members the financial freedom needed to grow and prosper, while our new Late Payment Compensation department could unlock hidden potential and offer the compensation needed to springboard your business to success.

Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

CPA is passionate about late payment

The Credit Protection Association has been protecting smaller firms against poor payment practices for over 100 years.

We are passionate about breaking the late payment culture that holds back the UK economy and threatens many SMEs with cash flow difficulties being the single biggest killer of Britain’s small businesses.

If you were regularly paid late we can help. Those former customers used you to boost their own cashflow, regularly paying you late.

As a result you had extra costs, you had the distraction of having to chase payment, you had opportunity costs because your capital was tied up in their late invoices.

Under little used legislation, you are entitled to compensation for those late payments.

Now you can boost your own cash-flow.

CPA can help unearth the those hidden treasures.

We have the technology to reveal the compensation you are due and we have the extensive experience and expertise to then turn those claims into cash.

Yes, CPA can help you boost your business cashflow.

Don’t let your bankers control you, contact CPA today.

Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

visit our late payment compensation page

See our full blog and FAQ on late payment compensation

If you are also struggling, do you realise you could be sitting on a fortune?

Late payments often result in a cash flow crunch and leave SMEs in need of a cash injection.

If you are struggling and sold B2B on credit then there may be a hidden source of capital you can call on.

If you need extra capital, rather than shutting down or jumping through hoops with your bank, you could look to uncover the resources from an unexpected source within your own business.

Not many are aware but there could be a hidden fortune within your business, sitting there, just waiting to be uncovered and released.

We can help you uncover the pile of gold, you didn’t even know you were sitting on.

If you trade with other businesses and were often paid late then you could be entitled to significant compensation.

Under little known and under-utilised legislation your business could be due huge amounts in compensation that you didn’t even know about.

Let’s be clear – this is not a way to weaken any customer relationships you value. It is one that identifies who’s been paying late and then recover the potentially significant sums in compensation using Late Payment Legislation from businesses where the relationship has already ended.

You can pick and choose who you want us to follow up – but once we’ve agreed which companies you’d like to pursue compensation from it’s a fast process and there’s no financial outlay to you whatsoever. My team at CPA put its expertise to work to recover the compensation due and fight late payment culture.

That compensation could be the cash rescue your business needed.

But don’t delay, that compensation evaporates if not claimed within six years of the late payment.

How can CPA help?

CPA has developed a unique technology to dig into your accounting records and discover the cash injection you are due by means of compensation. The software does all the hard work. Our software interacts over the cloud with over 300 different software packages, working directly with your accounts package, just so long as it’s stored on a computer.

We recognise that most companies do not have the resources to spend time on the identification and calculation of Late Payment Compensation. Our service can produce an Analyses within just a few days with (usually) less than 30 mins of co-operation from our clients. We work directly with over 300 accounting packages but can also work with bespoke accounts packages. Indeed, speed is essential as the oldest invoices may fall foul of the 6-year time limit.

Once the Sales Ledger Analyses is made available to clients, all that is required is that management decide which commercially sensitive ex-customers to remove from the list and return it to us.

CPA then uses its years of collection experience to explain and recover the Late Payment Compensation Claims. Clients do not handle any part of the recovery process as our team will take all communications from the companies against who the claims has been made. Often, it’s simply a case of explaining the legislation, sometimes we have to go all the way and enforce the legislation through the courts.

The result is that we are realising clients’ claims worth tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds which, of course, is pure net profit.  You may also be among the recipients of “hundreds of thousands of pounds” should you elect to take advantage of our services.

We do the work, you receive the cash.

If you have supplied goods and services to businesses on credit and were regularly paid late then you could be due significant sums in late payment compensation.

We are talking to companies and unearthing claims in the hundreds of thousands from former business customers who paid them late. Large business customers who abused their power to inflict unfair and sometimes illegal payment practices.

We are helping companies that were looking to close down, who looked insolvent and finding that cash injection they need to avoid insolvency.

Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

The Credit Protection Association is a credit management company established in 1914. If you supply goods or services on credit then we can help you!

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