Chinese private client sector admits 'concern' about CRS

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Concerns relating the introduction of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), is the hot topic among wealth management practitioners working for Chinese clients, according to Guernsey Finance.

A recent CRS briefing in Hong Kong, hosted by Guernsey Finance, attracted more than 60 delegates from the region’s banking, trust and securities industries, with many admitting that they need to continue to seek guidance on the implications and requirements associated with the matter.

Kate Clouston, deputy chief executive at Guernsey Finance, said in a statement, that Guernsey, as one of the early adopters of CRS in 2014 and among the first 50 countries and jurisdictions to begin reporting this year, is “perfectly placed” to share its expertise with its Asia counterparts.

“Guernsey has always been at the forefront of adopting and implementing international legislation, and CRS is no exception,” said Clouston. “Adherence to international reporting standards is a relatively new issue in China and there is understandably a lot of concern about how, what and when to report.

“Guernsey advisers are well-placed to offer advice and commentary on these procedures and we are pleased to be able to share this information with audiences in Hong Kong and China.”

Second batch

China has committed to being among the second batch of jurisdictions to implement CRS and to complete its first round of automatic exchange of financial account information by September 2018.

However, the issuing of the administrative measures on due diligence procedures for non-residents’ financial account information in tax matters at the end of May by the State Administration of Taxation, the Ministry of Finance and China’s respective regulatory commissions, means China is already implementing elements of CRS, Guernsey Finance said.

The measures require financial institutions established in China to carry out due diligence procedures on pre-existing and new financial accounts from July onwards, to identify financial accounts held by non-residents, as well as collect and submit relevant account information to the Chinese authorities.

The CRS Luncheon, (pictured above) at Eaton House included a panel discussion on the increasing transparency in global regulation featuring independent tax adviser David Zhang, Deloitte’s Judy Xie and Vistra’s Michael Shue. Antoine Kuo from Griffin Plutus Family Office moderated the panel session.

Delegate Stuart Dowding, managing director of First Names Group in Hong Kong, said the speakers had provided an “interesting analysis” of the evolving global regulatory landscape, with CRS the main area of interest for the audience.

 ‘Intricacies of CRS’

“The intricacies of CRS proved to be the main topic with tax experts, lawyers and fellow industry peers sharing their insightful views on the situation and dispelling a number of myths around CRS implementation,” said Mr Dowding.

Christopher Chan, who has been based in Hong Kong as Guernsey Finance’s Asia-Pacific Representative since February, added: “It is the second event in six months we have held in Asia on the subject of CRS. The first event in Shanghai attracted almost 200 senior professionals so it was important to bring the same type of insight to those practitioners based in Hong Kong who also look after Chinese private clients.”

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Gary Robinson

Commercial Director, Head of Video at International Investment.