Press Release - 30 December 2002
ROYAL COURT SUPPORTS COMMISSION REQUEST FOR RESTRAINT ON TRUST COMPANY
The Royal Court agreed to a request from the Jersey Financial Services Commission to impose an injunction on a local trust company - Coke Wallis Jones de Polignac Trustees (Jersey) Limited (and associated companies). The injunction requires them to act only under the supervision of accountants Deloitte and Touche.
The application followed the arrest of Mr and Mrs Coke Wallis by the States of Jersey police. Mr. Coke Wallis was arrested on 22 December 2002 apparently attempting to leave the Island in his car, together with files, computer equipment, network servers back up tapes and other records.
The application by the Commission followed a period of increasing concern by the Commission about the way the Coke Wallis companies were managed and run. Those concerns included Corporate Governance arrangements (insufficient independent and qualified directors); record keeping and internal controls. The Commission had required the Directors to appoint Reporting Accountants under Article 7(5) of the Financial Services (Jersey) Law 1998. When the Directors failed to do so, the Commission served a Direction under Article 20 of the Law requiring them to do so.
The Direction also required them to choose how to demonstrate that their affairs were in order, either bringing themselves up to the standards in the Commission's Codes of Practice or taking steps to sell or merge the business.
The Directors failed to carry out any of these requirements.
The Commission subsequently issued a second Direction requiring the companies to take on no new business and to produce a plan for winding up the business. The Commission further required the appointment of Deloitte and Touche as co signatories on their accounts. The Commission was concerned about the safety of the records and customer money and therefore the Direction insisted that books and records were not removed from the office.
On 22 December 2002, as noted above, the States of Jersey Police arrested Mr. Piers Coke Wallis, in his car apparently attempting to leave the Island. Mr. Coke Wallis's car included files, books records and other property, including computer records, back up tapes and the companies' network server.
The Commission continued to have concerns about the proper management of the business in these circumstances and therefore applied to the Court as described above.