The Channel Island of Guernsey has been lauded by the United States' FBI for its efforts to combat financial crime and praised in particular the "immense value" of the Crown Dependency's information sharing system.
A deputy assistant director at the FBI, Steven M. d'Antuono, said information exchange agreements with the Crown Dependencies were a prime example of how to effectively fight cybercrime and financial crime more widely. He made the comments while appearing before a US Senate committee.
According to the Guernsey Press, d'Antuono told the committee: "The United Kingdom has enacted perhaps the most robust beneficial ownership legislation to date."
For property owned by overseas companies and legal entities, the public beneficial ownership database is set to launch by 2021."
D'Antuono continued, "The UK has registers of beneficial ownership for three different types of assets - companies, real property, and trusts. Information on the beneficial ownership of companies is publicly available.
"For property owned by overseas companies and legal entities, the public beneficial ownership database is set to launch by 2021. The register for trusts is not public, but is available to law enforcement."
He added: "In July 2017, bilateral agreements between the UK and the Crown Dependences and Overseas Territories related to the sharing of beneficial ownership information went into effect. These Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories include the Isle of Man, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, and many others."
He explained, "Under the terms of these agreements, UK law enforcement has access to company beneficial ownership information in support of investigations. This information must be made available within 24 hours of a request. Our colleagues at the UK's National Crime Agency have continually noted the immense value of such information in their investigations."