UK to follow USA on the way of information sharing

Jersey’s chief minister says Channel Islands and overseas territories discussing agreement modelled on US arrangements

The UK government is exploring whether it can force the British Virgin Islands and other offshore havens for which it is ultimately responsible to share far more information on owners of offshore trusts and companies.

Jersey’s chief minister, Ian Gorst, confirmed that Channel Island officials were meeting with the Treasury on Tuesday to discuss an extensive information-sharing agreement modelled on a new law being promoted across the world by the US, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Fatca) – and that though it was only Channel Islands officials in the meetings, the new rules were also being discussed with the BVI and others.

“The UK has approached the crown dependencies and the overseas territories with a view to the principles of the US Facta arrangements possibly being more widely applied to an exchange of information with the UK,” Gorst said. In separate comments to a Jersey paper on Monday, Gorst said UK officials were threatening to block territories signing up to US deals until they agreed to sign up to a similar information-sharing agreement with the UK – in effect forcing the territories’ hand.