Basel News Feed

Summary of recent news that will be of interest to clients and offshore professionals

Basel Trust Corporation

Basel is celebrating its tenth year. It has continued to grow and is experiencing strong demand both for its core business of Trust and Company Administration and the newer E-commerce and Escrow businesses. Fortuitously Basel has been able to recruit some excellent staff to meet the challenges of growth and its diverse client base. Where necessary Basel also has an excellent network of contacts to help fulfil the needs of its many varied clients.

Geneva Office

The Geneva Office has outgrown its initial premises and moved to 24 Route des Acacias, 1227 Les Acacias, Geneva , Switzerland .

London Office

The Basel Group’s London office, near the Savoy Hotel, just off the Strand is an excellent central location for meetings.

Mauritius

The Basel Group outsources some of its non-core, back office administration work to Mauritius, where it works with a highly respected trust company and accountancy firm. This helps us to keep client costs down, and to produce financial accounts quickly if a client needs them. The relationship has been in place for five years and an excellent service has been received from the professional, sophisticated and well qualified personnel.

New Zealand

New Zealand is an established and developed British Commonwealth jurisdiction with a well respected legal and taxation system based upon UK common law. New Zealand also has a benign taxation regime for non New Zealand residents holding non New Zealand assets. Basel Trust has established a trust company in New Zealand to allow access to appropriate New Zealand structures specifically tailored to meet the needs of wealthy individuals and families.

Jersey Association of Trust Companies (JATCo)

Basel’s Managing Director, Julie Coward, is currently president of JATCO. JATCO is an Association that represents the majority of trust companies in Jersey. It has over 80 member firms, employing an estimated four thousand people locally. JATCO is a proactive organisation which represents members’ interests to Government and the Financial Services Regulators, ensuring decision makers (locally and further a field) are fully informed when making decisions about Jersey’s Trust Industry.

E-commerce

Having invested a significant amount of time and resources on development of specialized systems designed to assist with the E-commerce industry, Basel is acknowledged as The Leading company in Jersey in this field. It has a dedicated team of professionals administering E-commerce companies, trading (E-wallets) and Escrow services.

Fulfilment Industry

The use of the Channel Islands and in particular Jersey by the Fulfilment industry has been much in the English national newspapers recently. Newspapers often rely on headline grabbing and précis, and in recent reports this has led to an inaccurate picture being painted. We believe there is no threat to the legitimate use of the Fulfilment industry in Jersey and that there are genuine tax incentives for basing internet business offshore. For further details, please contact us.

Expert Funds

The Expert Fund regime was designed to provide an innovative flexible framework for the establishment of investment funds in Jersey aimed at sophisticated, institutional or high net worth clients. The process for establishing a new fund in this way has been streamlined and the regulatory focus placed on the local service provider rather than the fund itself. People who would qualify to invest in expert funds include professional and institutional investors and investors with a net worth, or joint net worth with a spouse, in excess of US$1 million (excluding the principal place of residence) and investors making an investment of US$100,000 or more.

Jersey Trust Company Law

There has been a major review of the Trusts (Jersey) Law 1984 which has resulted in a number of proposed amendments. Principle amongst these are:

Jersey Reserve companies

From 30 November 2005, regulated trust company businesses in Jersey have had the option to incorporate reserve companies in their own name for subsequent transfer to a client. This has speeded up the process of incorporation, when there has been the need for urgency.

Protected Cell and Cell Companies

Since 1st February 2006, Jersey Company Law encompasses the incorporation of Cell Companies and the registration of Protected Cell Companies (“PCC”). This allows Jersey to compete with other jurisdictions marketing these products, offering clients another option for the strong protection of their assets. Those involved in funds administration and the writing of special risks insurance particularly welcomed the certainty in this area.

EU Savings Directive

The European Savings Directive aimed at individuals resident in an EU Member State came into effect on 1st July 2005 with an initial rate of withholding tax of 15%. This means that banks and other paying agents will now automatically deduct tax from interest and other savings income earned and pass it to their local tax authority, indicating how much of the total amount relates to customers in each Member State. The withholding tax rate is set to rise to 20% from 1st July 2008 and then to 35% from 1st July 2011. This is effective in all EU Countries, British and Dutch Overseas Territories, plus Switzerland, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco and San Marino. It should be noted that trusts and companies are not subject to the withholding tax.

Fund raising

Basel and its staff have also worked hard at fund raising for charities. In the year 2005, £1,089 was raised and donated to the following charities: Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Comic Relief, NSPCC, Diabetes Action Group, Animal Shelter, Robin Ward Jersey General Hospital, Jersey Round Table, Children In Need and Mines Awareness. Earlier this year, a Fairtrade coffee morning was held which raised £176.

Corporate Sponsorship

Basel wished to support local charities and thus has taken out Corporate sponsorship of two.

Durrell

Author, naturalist and broadcaster Gerald Durrell founded the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust over 40 years ago with the mission to save endangered wild animals from extinction. He said “The world is as delicate and as complicated as a spider’s web. If you touch one thread you send shudders running through all the other threads. We are not just touching the web, we are tearing great holes in it.” Visitors are welcome to his park where his conservation work is ongoing. www.durrell.org

National Trust for Jersey

This is an independent charitable organisation dedicated to preserving and safeguarding sites of historic, aesthetic and natural interest for the benefit of the Island. The National Trust cares for just over 1,000 vergees of land, 16 historic buildings and a number of lavoirs and pumps. These lands and buildings are managed according to the Trust’s conservation policies with the ultimate aim being to secure their permanent preservation for the benefit of the island. www.nationaltrustjersey.org.je