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Press Release - 28 October 2005

Royal Court Judgment Anchor Trust Company Limited

The Royal Court has upheld the Jersey Financial Services Commission’s decision to refuse Anchor Trust Company Limited (“Anchor”) a licence to conduct trust company business under the Financial Services (Jersey) Law 1998.

Anchor was informed of the Commission’s decision on 4 March 2005. Following this, Anchor exercised its right to appeal against the decision to the Royal Court. The hearing was before the Deputy Bailiff, Michael Birt, sitting with Jurats Le Cornu and Morgan.

The Court found that Anchor had not been treated unfairly, and that there were no procedural grounds for quashing the Commission’s decision. The Court also found that it was reasonable for the Commission to have concluded that Anchor’s application should be refused.

The Court did, however, remark upon the length of time which had been taken to determine Anchor’s application and, whilst accepting that it had not heard a full explanation for the delays which had occurred, emphasised that such decisions should be taken as soon as reasonably practicable. The Court accepted, however, that in this particular case the delay had not prejudiced Anchor; on the contrary it had provided the firm with a longer period within which to rectify matters and bring itself into compliance with the required standards.

The judgement states: “The Commission will often face a very difficult decision in deciding whether to register a trust company, particularly where that company has been carrying on business prior to the introduction of the requirement for registration. On the one hand, the Commission must act to protect the interests of actual or potential clients and the reputation and integrity of the Island; on the other hand, a decision to refuse registration is likely to have very serious consequences for an applicant who may have been carrying on and building up a business over many years. It is clear to us that both the Executive and the Board (of Commissioners) are fully conscious of this difficult balance and gave the matter very careful attention”.

The judgment also states: “It is of vital importance for the well being of the finance sector in Jersey that those who practice within it have an appropriate attitude towards the problem of money laundering”.

- Ends -

For further information please contact: -

David Carse, Director General
Jersey Financial Services Commission

Tel: + 44 (0) 1534 822011
Fax:+ 44 (0) 1534 822001
Email: l.johns@jerseyfsc.org

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