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  1. ITV Report

Islands avoid money-laundering measures

Photo: PA Images

The Channel Islands' governments have dodged a constitutional conflict, after measures to impose new transparency laws were dropped from a major UK money-laundering bill today.

The bill passed today will mean British overseas territories are forced to publish a list of all company owners registered there. However, this will not apply to the Channel Islands.

Jersey and Guernsey did however come under fire from some MPs for not doing enough to combat corruption and may now face increased pressure to become more transparent.

Both Chief Ministers say they are pleased that their constitutional relationship with the UK has not been breached.

I am pleased that the UK Parliament has chosen not to seek to impose its will on Jersey, in direct contradiction to constitutional convention and ignoring the substantial work of the Island in matters of transparency and robust financial regulation.

This decision recognises the constitutional autonomy of the Island, and preserves the established historical relationship between Jersey and the United Kingdom.

We will continue to pursue the highest international standards and will consult with the UK in relation to their implementation – including of the fourth and fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directives, the EU’s progressive legislation designed to counter money laundering.

– Senator Ian Gorst, Jersey's Chief Minister

I welcome the news that the House of Commons has quite rightly chosen to respect our centuries-old constitutional relationship with the Crown...

Had this amendment been passed it would not have had any domestic effect in Guernsey and would have created a constitutional breach for the U.K...

Guernsey is committed to meeting international standards, in particular in relation to fighting financial crime. As we have previously stated we would introduce a public register if that becomes the agreed global standard. This must be a level playing field for all.

– Deputy Gavin St Pier, Guernsey's Chief Minister