HC Deb 20 January 1998 vol 304 cc500-2W
Mr. Coaker

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has for a review of financial regulation in the Crown Dependencies. [24698]

Mr. Straw

I have today invited the Home Office and the Island Authorities to carry out a review of the financial legislation and regulatory systems in Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. The purpose of this review is to assess the contribution made by the current laws and systems to the economic and social well-being of the Islands themselves, and the United Kingdom.

The review will be conducted by Mr. Andrew Edwards, formerly of Her Majesty's Treasury, who will work alongside the Constitutional Unit of the Home Office and the Island authorities. it is expected to take about six months. Its terms of reference are:


To review with the Island authorities their laws, systems and practices for:

  1. (i) regulating banking, insurance and financial services business and collaborating with overseas regulators;
  2. (ii) deterring, investigating and punishing financial crime. including money laundering and fiscal offences, particularly cases with an international dimension;
  3. (iii) registering companies;
with a view to assessing the contribution which they make to the economic and social well-being of the Islands themselves and of the United Kingdom.

Area to be Covered

The review will cover the following main areas:

  1. (i) Financial Regulation and International Regulatory Co-operation.
    • Description and assessment of the current legal and institutional arrangements for licensing, supervising and regulating the full range of financial business, including banks, investment banks, other credit institutions, insurance companies, investment services companies, bureaux de change, international business companies and company 501 registration agents and accountants and lawyers carrying on financial business (e.g., providing custody services or investment advice):
    • Examination of practical implementation of these activities and the resources devoted to them, in relation to the number and size of firms regulated and the nature of the business;
    • Arrangements for the regulatory authorities to share their own confidential information with overseas regulatory authorities, and vice versa;
    • Arrangements for the authorities to obtain other confidential information to assist overseas regulatory authorities with their investigations and vice versa.
  2. (ii) Financial Crime
    1. (a) Money Laundering
      • each Island's money laundering legislation:
      • the number of suspicious transactions reports received in each Island each year and how these are dealt with;
      • arrangements for collaboration between the Island Authorities and overseas authorities including the sharing of suspicious transactions reports;
    2. (b) Criminal Investigations
      • collaboration between the Island Authorities and overseas authorities in investigating suspected financial crime (including fiscal offences);

Review Announcement Expected completion date
Joint review with Northern Ireland Office to consider permanent UK wide counter terrorism legislation Autumn 1997 Autumn 1998
Review of the law relating to bribery and corruption. "Prevention of Corruption—Consolidation and Amendment of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1889–1916: A Government Statement"—issued June 1997 June 1997 Early 1998
Strategic Review of National Police Training 12 March 1997 Ongoing
Inter-Departmental Review of Police Pensions 23 October 1993 Ongoing
Review of Arrangements for Confiscation of Criminal Assets Autumn 1997 Ongoing
Review of Firefighters' Pension Scheme March 1994 Ongoing
Review of Community Fire Safety November 1996 Ongoing
Review of Prison Nursing Services No formal announcement February 1998
Review of long-term future of organisation of Prison Service Health Care No formal announcement Mid 1998
Review of Prison Service Drug Strategy No formal announcement March 1998
Review of Prisons Investigations Strategy No formal announcement First stage completion April 1998
Review of the operation of release of prisoners on temporary licence No formal announcement Mid 1998
Review of Government proposals on reform of Youth Justice System Summer 1997 Results of review reflected in Crime and Disorder Bill December 1997 White Paper—"No More Excuses" (Cmmd. 3809) November 1997
Review of measures to deal with anti-social behaviour Summer 1997 Results of review reflection in Crime and Disorder Bill
Results of review reflected in Crime and Disorder known sex offenders who pose a continuing risk 5 November 1997 Results of review reflected in Crime and Disorder Bill
Review of measures on Community Safety September 1997 Results of review reflected in Crime and Disorder Bill
Inter-Departmental Review of the Treatment of Vulnerable and Intimidated Witnesses 13 June 1997 March 1998
The Future Role and Funding of Local Civil Protection in England and Wales 24 July 1997 Ongoing

the willingness or otherwise of the authorities to secure prosecutions;

(c) Asset Confiscation collaboration between the Island authorities and overseas authorities in tracing, freezing or confiscating assets held by suspected or convicted criminals based overseas.

(iii) Company registrations each Island's legislation, systems and practices for registering companies.

Consultation and Comparisons

In undertaking these tasks:

  1. (a) to have regard to other examples of offshore regulatory laws, systems and practices, such as Gibraltar and other United Kingdom dependencies;
  2. (b) to consult Her Majesty's Treasury and others as necessary.