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£460k of public money for 'mock' assessment of finance industry

£460k of public money for 'mock' assessment of finance industry

Thursday 01 July 2021

£460k of public money for 'mock' assessment of finance industry

Thursday 01 July 2021

The Government is spending up to £460,000 on a ‘mock’ version of a key inspection of the finance industry's ability to defend itself against money laundering and financing terrorists in 2023.

In two years’ time, the island's primary breadwinner will have to open its books to a team of inspectors from ‘MONEYVAL’, who will see if the island's defence measures meet the latest international standards.

The organisation is the permanent monitoring body of the Council of Europe, which assesses compliance with the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force. 

A positive MONEYVAL report will be a key weapon in the island's defences against critics of the finance industry.

To check the island's compliance before the official inspection, Government has commissioned an international team of experts to pore over its rules, processes and remedies.

The mock inspection began in January and will finish at the end of August but Treasury Minister Susie Pinel has recently signed off the transfer of £461,140 from central Government funds to pay for the assessment.

The money had already been earmarked in the last Government Plan so is not a 'new' spend.

A Government spokesperson said: “Jersey is carrying out a mock MONEYVAL review to ensure it is fully implementing the revised FATF standards which focuses on the effectiveness of the regime, in order to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. 

“This is part of a larger discussion with Jersey’s financial services industry regarding tackling financial crime.”

It is the first time that Jersey has carried out a mock assessment because, in the last review of 2015, how well money laundering and terrorist financing is prevented in-practice was not assessed.

It is understood that preparation for the mock review has involved authorities preparing and submitting information to the experts. 

Earlier this month, a series of meetings took place between Jersey's key anti-money laundering/terrorist financing bodies and industry representatives. Ministers also met with the experts regarding the island's commitments. 

Once the practice inspection is over, Jersey will receive feedback and recommended actions on its implementation of the FATF standards.

The Government is currently talking to the industry about possible amendments to Jersey's financial crime strategy, which will also be scrutinised by MONEYVAL.

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