International - Written by on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 23:34 - 1 Comment

Guernsey, Jersey – the Channel Islands & the Bribery Act

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Earlier this week we were kindly asked to present to a group of compliance officers for financial services companies in Guernsey by the excellent Darren Wadley, head of Compliance, Legal and Risk at Morgan Sharpe.

Guernsey is one of the Channel Islands.  The Channel Islands are Crown Dependencies and include two separate bailiwicks: the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey.  The Channel Islands are important offshore financial services centres.

Guernsey has its own anti-bribery law The Prevention of Corruption (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2003 – however, we were not there to talk about that.

We have written about the Bribery Act and its application offshore before here.  While the Bribery Act does not have direct application in Guernsey (few laws passed in the UK have direct effect in Guernsey) it can impact indirectly. Potentially there are three main reasons for this for financial services businesses in Guernsey:

1.Personal liability – a close connection?

Many in Guernsey hold full UK passports.  As a result they will be subject to the Bribery Act personally as they will have a “close connection” with the UK (notwithstanding they do not live in the UK).  Simply put, holders of a full UK passport or otherwise falling in s.12(4) of the Bribery Act working in the Channel Islands (for financial services or other businesses), will be subject to the Bribery Act, personally.

2. Corporate liability – carrying on business in the UK?

Many Channel Islands financial services companies have operations running out of the UK.  As a result it is possible that they will fulfil the carrying on business (or part of a business) in the UK requirement and that, in turn, Section 7, the failure to prevent bribery offence, will apply.

3. Client liability – the commercial imperative

Clients of financial services companies in the Channel Islands may themselves be subject to the Bribery Act either because they themselves have a close connection with the UK or themselves carry on business in the UK.

Either way it is possible that as a result they will impose their adequate procedures to prevent bribery (flowing from their own compliance with the Bribery Act) on their financial services providers in the Channel Islands.

No hands went up when we asked if anyone thought the UK Bribery Act was irrelevant to business in Guernsey…

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Jul 27, 2011 13:19

[…] influence does the Bribery Act have on the Channel Islands? […]

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