Islands warn on regulation

Confusion is mounting over how accountants in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man will fit into the profession’s proposed new regulatory regime.

Differences of opinion emerged as the end-of-January deadline for consultation on the proposals approached.

Developed after discussions with the government, the proposed regime ends self-regulation by UK accountants and introduces a new independent overseeing body, consisting mainly of officials from outside the profession.

The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, however, are responsible for their own internal affairs, and questions have arisen over how the proposals would affect them.

Martin Sabey, president of the Jersey Society of Chartered and Certified Accountants, said: ‘In general terms, we are covered by the disciplinary aspects of the institutes’ rules and regulations.’

But he admitted there was a ‘potential contradiction’ in the application of the new rules, and said the subject had not been discussed in detail.

Peter Horsthuis, deputy chairman of the Isle of Man Society of Chartered Accountants, said: ‘We have not discussed the new regulations, but if the DTI produced them they wouldn’t cover the Isle of Man.’

Yet a DTI spokeswoman said regulations would cover all of the major UK accounting bodies, regardless of which country they came from.

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