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Guernsey Regulator Announces Restructure

by Jason Gorringe,, London

01 November 2012

As part of its recent drive to achieve operational efficiencies, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) has announced that it is to delegate two of its supervisory functions to two newly-established departments, an Authorizations Unit and an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Division.

The Authorizations Unit will be placed in charge of scrutinizing whether owners, directors and senior managers meet the 'fit and proper' criteria required of all licensed businesses. The Commission receives around 1,700 personal questionnaires (PQs), and 1,600 personal declarations (PDs) each year, but these have historically been screened by four separate regulatory divisions.

Manus Carvill, Assistant Director in charge of the Authorizations Unit, said: “The Commission will now be better able to track progress on PQs and PDs, and respond to licensees within a consistent timeframe. The new policies and procedures will be supported by enhanced IT functionality, which will improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness by providing better management information". He added that the Unit's remit will be expanded during 2013.

The establishment of an AML Division meanwhile will enable the Commission to apply a Commission-wide risk-based approach to money laundering and financial crime surveillance, consistent with the revised international standards published by the Financial Action Task Force. Licensees will benefit from more efficient on-site visits, the Commission said.

The cost-cutting exercise comes following a government-commissioned report from Ernst and Young, which presented recommendations on streamlining the regulator's costly operations. There is to be no change in the Commission's headcount as a result of the change, the Commission confirmed, only a restructuring.

Neville Johnson, Chief Operating Officer at the GFSC, commented: “The work to centralize these two important functions of the Commission’s work is an excellent example of our progression of the recommendations of Ernst and Young's independent evaluation review. It will improve the quality of delivery of the Commission and should be welcomed by licensees.”

TAGS: money-laundering | business | law | international financial centres (IFC) | Guernsey | offshore | standards | regulation

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