Delegates at the Jersey Society of Chartered and Certified Accountants annual conference, held over two days at the Royal Hotel, were reminded that international anti-money laundering rules had recently been extended to include finance-related professions, including accountancy.
ndrew Le Brun, international and policy director at the Jersey Financial Services Commission, said the new Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations required accountants to report directly if they spotted anything suspicious.
he IMF report carried out in Jersey earlier this year would also have an impact on accountants and auditors, he said, as it recommended a review of the commission’s use of external experts and consultants.
r Le Brun said the IMF also recommended that the JFSC should review its methods of audit supervision, extending the use of auditors to all regulated sectors, including banks, collective investment funds and insurance business.
he report, due to be made public shortly, also recommends a review of filing deadlines and the accounting and auditing standards adopted by ‘issuers’.
r Le Brun also outlined some of the high-level priorities being undertaken by the commission.
Broadly the aim was to bring together all financial services regulation within the Financial Services (Jersey) Law and apply consistent codes of practice to all sectors.
he JFSC was also seeking the power to impose civil fines and favoured the establishment of a financial services tribunal to settle claims, although Mr Le Brun stressed that this would be subject to consultation and the approval of the States.
e confirmed that the commission would in future be reporting to the Economic Development Committee, rather than Finance and Economics.
ther issues on the commission’s agenda included the ongoing review of funds legislation, the overhaul of financial crime codes of practice and guidance notes, and the up- dating of the Island’s companies legislation.
r Le Brun said the proposed Regulation of Investigatory Powers, if approved, would allow the commission to carry out covert surveillance and plant moles.
‘We would expect to use them only in exceptional circumstances,’ he said.
sked whether there was a danger of over-regulation, he said although Jersey was keeping in line with international standards, this was always a risk.
‘We do everything we can to ensure that proposals are discussed with the industry,’ he added.
ther speakers at the two-day conference, organised with BPP Professional Education, focused on global developments in accounting, corporate governance and the Higgs report, and updates on auditing and taxation.