Fast Track Regimes

Applicable law

Regulatory permissions are issued under the Protection of Investors (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 1987, as amended ("the POI Law").

The POI Law does not permit licences to be issued to individuals. Entities seeking to be licensed must familiarise themselves with the scope of Schedules 1 and 2 to the POI Law to identify which categories and restricted activities may be relevant to the prospective business to be undertaken.

Applicants applying to be licensed must read and understand the minimum criteria for licensing set out in Schedule 4 to the POI Law.

Regime

There are 4 fast track application types in respect of Guernsey regulated entities:

  • Private Investment Funds ("PIFs"): Please follow this link for the PIFs regime.
  • Qualifying Investor Funds (“QIFs”);
  • Registered Collective Investment Schemes (“Registered Funds”);
  • Fast Track Licence Application for entities acting in respect of QIFs, Registered Funds or Overseas Collective Investment Schemes.

Fast track licence applications are only available to parties seeking to provide management services to QIFs, Registered Funds or Overseas Collective Investment Schemes.

To enable fast track processing, the intention of the regime is to enable a fund application, either QIF or Registered Fund, and a licence application to be submitted for simultaneous consideration by Authorisations.

Applications for licensing will, however, be accepted in advance of a fund application for Guernsey managers needing to meet the requirements of the EU National Private Placing Regime. In such circumstances, a business plan must be submitted, together with the licence application that includes the following details:

  • Proposed fund objectives;
  • Fund strategy;
  • Asset classes;
  • Target investor;
  • Geographical marketing sector.

A licence will be granted, if appropriate, based on that information and the expectation that a fund application will follow shortly thereafter. When the fund application is submitted, it will be scrutinsed to ensure that it reflects the information provided in the Applicant's Business Plan at the licence application stage. In the absence of controlled investment business, being conducted within 12 months from licensing, in accordance with the POI Law, the licence will be cancelled.

In the case of a manager of an Overseas Collective Investment Scheme the intention of the fast track regime is to enable the simultaneous consideration of a migration into the Bailiwick of Guernsey and licencing of the manager followed by the consideration of any applications to act for any open-ended schemes under the Non-Guernsey Scheme regime.

All other licence applications will need to apply and be assessed under the Commission's standard track application process.

Specific criteria and principles

The following information is in addition to the guidance found at 'New Applicants'.

ALL APPLICANTS

Licence applications will only be processed for entities that have definite and early plans to conduct controlled investment business. The applicant's proposed business activities detailed in its business plan and the categories and restricted activities requested in the application form must be consistent and relevant to that proposed business.

ADMINISTRATORS’ DECLARATIONS

The fast track application forms (Form FTL) and (Form FTLM) require the proposed administrator of the applicant to make specific declarations. The Commission has a statutory duty in considering applications for licences under the POI Law and the scrutiny of complete and accurate submissions, together with the relevant declarations which will be used by the Commission in expediting the formal application process.  Guidance on the Commission's expectations can be found here.

RESOURCES AND DELEGATION

The applicant is required to have adequate resources of personnel, policy, procedures, premises and systems to conduct operations including:

  • Record-keeping;
  • Compliance;
  • Anti-money laundering measures;
  • Internal control and other systems.

If the applicant proposes to delegate some responsibilities to other service providers, the arrangements must be acceptable to the Commission and demonstrate that the delegate has the necessary capability.

FINANCIAL RESOURCES REQUIREMENT

The requirement must be met as scheduled in the Licensees (Capital Adequacy) Rules 2010.

Application pack

The fast track licence application pack must contain:

FORM FTL

The form is to be completed, signed and dated by the proposed administrator of the applicant and must be submitted together with the licence application form (Form RA/1).

Form FTL

FORM FTLM

The form is to be completed, signed and dated by the director of the applicant and the proposed administrator and must be submitted with the licence application form (Form RA/1).  If the manager is acting for open-ended Overseas Collective Investment Schemes, a form NGSF should be submitted along with the relevant fee per scheme.

Form FTLM

APPLICATION FORM

A fully completed Form RA/1 must be submitted together with all of the supporting documentation requested in that form. The Form RA/1 must be fully completed, signed and dated by two authorised signatories of the applicant.

Application Form RA/1

 
APPLICATION FEE

The fee is non-refundable;  Fees

ESTABLISHMENT

Confirmation that the applicant has been incorporated or established, as appropriate.

DELEGATION AGREEMENTS

Where management of a licensee has been delegated in total or in part, a copy of the relevant agreement(s).

DUE DILIGENCE

A copy of the prospective administrator’s due diligence and assessment in support of the declarations in the Form FTL or Form FTLM, of the fitness and propriety of the applicant. We will undertake focused scrutiny of the submission to test the validity of the declarations provided.

EXISTING PROMOTER CONNECTION

If the promoter of the connected fund is already known to the Commission as the promoter of an existing (or previous) Guernsey investment fund, we will accept confirmation of that fact, together with written confirmation that the administrator holds up to date due diligence documentation.

PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE (“OPQ”) and Online Appointment ("OA")

OPQs and/or OAs must be submitted through the Online PQ Portal for each natural person who is a beneficial owner, controller, partner, director, company secretary, money laundering reporting officer, money laundering compliance officer, compliance officer or manager of the applicant(s).

SHARE CAPITAL

Documentary confirmation that share capital has been received.

Application process

We will assess and review the application pack and inform the applicant, or its professional advisers, of any matters requiring expansion or clarification. Once all queries have been satisfied, the application will be referred to a decision-maker. A formal response will follow decision-making.

Timeframe

INDICATIVE TIMEFRAME

We will consider the application for a fast-track licence within 10 business days of receipt of a fully completed application pack. If the application pack is incomplete the application clock will not commence until all documentation and information has been submitted.  Where a Form NGSF is submitted as part of the application pack, a further 2 days for processing per scheme is required.

APPLICATION QUALITY

Any minor queries resulting from the Commission's initial assessment of the application will be referred back to the prospective Guernsey administrator acting on behalf of the applicant with the aim that resolution of the issue can be achieved within the 10 day period.

WRITTEN RESPONSE

We reserve the right to reset the application clock if the nature and number of issues requiring expansion and clarification are substantial.

Application conclusion

LICENCE

Successful applicants will be issued with a licence by form of letter, setting out the categories and restricted activities the licensee may undertake.

CONDITIONS

Any non-standard conditions which may be imposed on the licence will be scheduled in the letter. Non-standard conditions will have been discussed with applicants in advance.

ANNUAL FEE

Upon licensing, the annual licence fee becomes due, which is reduced pro rata in the first year: an invoice will be sent with the licence.

Qualifying Investors Funds ("QIFs") – Fast Track

Applicable law

Regulatory permissions are issued under the Protection of Investors (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 1987, as amended ("the POI Law").

Applicable rules

Depending on the type of scheme for which application is made, one of the following fund rules will also apply:

Guidance

For full details of the QIF application process please refer to the Guidance on Qualifying Investor Funds.

Specific criteria and principles

The following information is in addition to the guidance found at 'New Applicants'.

APPLICABLE FUNDS

Authorised open-ended and closed-ended schemes can apply as QIFs. The following also applies:

  • Only qualified investors are permitted to invest in a QIF;
  • A qualified investor is deemed able to evaluate the risks and strategy of investing in a QIF and to bear the economic consequences of investment in the QIF including the possibility of any loss arising from the investment;
  • Application Form QIF must be signed by the proposed designated manager of the scheme.
DECLARATIONS

Application Form QIF contains declarations given by the proposed designated manager to the Commission and the Commission attaches great importance to these declarations. It expects applicants to be able to demonstrate that they have documentary evidence to support the declarations given, and to be able to produce that evidence immediately should the Commission request it. Applicants who cannot substantiate their applications may find themselves excluded from participation in the QIF regime.

QIF Application Pack

The QIF application pack must contain:

APPLICATION FORM

A fully completed, signed and dated Form APB/APC/APQ, as appropriate, together with Form GFA.

Application Form APB 

Application Form APQ

 Application Form APC

 Application Form GFA

APPLICATION FEE

The fee is non-refundable; Fees

PROSPECTUS

The final version together with the investor application form, subscription agreement or equivalent documents.

CONSTITUTIVE DOCUMENTS

Evidence that the scheme has been incorporated (if a company) or otherwise established to include the articles of incorporation, trust deed or limited partnership agreement.

AGREEMENTS

All material agreements entered into by the scheme.

CLASS B SCHEMES

Receipt of a certificate from the Manager or from an approved law firm certifying the information scheduled in the Class B Rules.

CLASS Q SCHEMES

Receipt of a certificate from the Manager certifying the information scheduled in the Class Q Rules.

CONTROLLERS, DIRECTORS AND SENIOR OFFICERS OF THE PROMOTER

Must submit OPQ's through the Online PQ Portal.

Application process

We will assess and review the application pack and inform the applicant, or its professional advisers, of any matters requiring expansion or clarification. Once all queries have been satisfied, the application will be referred to a decision-maker. A formal response will follow decision-making.

Timeframe

INDICATIVE TIMEFRAME

The Commission will declare the scheme authorised within three business days of receiving the QIF application. If the application pack is incomplete the application clock will not commence until all documentation and information has been submitted.

APPLICATION QUALITY

Any minor queries resulting from the Commission's initial assessment of the application will be referred back to the prospective Guernsey administrator acting on behalf of the applicant with the aim that resolution of the issue can be achieved within the three day period.

WRITTEN RESPONSE

We reserve the right to reset the application clock if the nature and number of issues requiring expansion and clarification are substantial.

Application conclusion

AUTHORISATION

Successful applicants will be issued with authorisation by way of letter.

CONDITIONS AND DEROGATIONS

Any formal conditions to be imposed upon the authorisation of open-ended investment schemes or any derogations from or modifications of the rules will be incorporated into the final authorisation letter.

ANNUAL FEE

Upon licensing, the annual fee becomes due, which is reduced pro rata in the first year: an invoice will be sent with the authorisation letter.

Registered Collective Investment Schemes – Fast Track

Applicable law

Regulatory permissions are issued under the Protection of Investors (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 1987, as amended ("the POI Law").

Applicable rules

The Registered Collective Investment Scheme Rules 2018.

Guidance

For full details of the Registered Funds application process refer to the guidance.

Specific criteria and principles

The following information is in addition to the guidance found at 'New Applicants'.

APPLICABLE FUNDS

In order to consider granting the requisite registration to the Registered Funds the Commission must receive a copy of the application form (Form REG), which must be signed by the proposed designated manager of the scheme.

DECLARATIONS

The Form REG contains declarations given by the proposed designated manager to the Commission and the Commission attaches great importance to these declarations. It expects applicants to be able to demonstrate that they have documentary evidence to support the declarations given, and to be able to produce that evidence immediately should the Commission request it. Applicants who cannot substantiate their applications may find themselves excluded from participation in the Registered Fund regime.

Application pack

The application pack must contain:

APPLICATION FORM

A fully completed, signed and dated Form REG.

Application Form REG 

APPLICATION FEE

The fee is non-refundable; Fees

PROSPECTUS

 The final version together with the investor application form, subscription agreement or equivalent documents.

CONSTITUTIVE DOCUMENTS

Evidence that the scheme has been incorporated (if a company) or otherwise established to include the articles of incorporation, trust deed or limited partnership agreement.

AGREEMENTS

All material agreements entered into by the scheme.

CONTROLLERS, DIRECTORS AND SENIOR OFFICERS OF THE PROMOTER

Personnnel who will exercise control or a significant function relating to the application must submit OPQ's through the Online PQ Portal.

Application process

We will assess and review the application pack and inform the applicant, or its professional advisers, of any matters requiring expansion or clarification. Once all queries have been satisfied, the application will be referred to a decision-maker. A formal response will follow decision-making.

Timeframe

INDICATIVE TIMEFRAME

The Commission will declare the scheme registered within three business days of receiving the Registered Fund application. If the application pack is incomplete the application clock will not commence until all documentation and information has been submitted.

APPLICATION QUALITY

Any minor queries resulting from the Commission's initial assessment of the application will be referred back to the prospective Guernsey administrator acting on behalf of the applicant with the aim that resolution of the issue can be achieved within the three day period.

WRITTEN RESPONSE

We reserve the right to reset the application clock if the nature and number of issues requiring expansion and clarification are substantial.

Application conclusion

REGISTRATION

Successful applicants will be issued with registration by way of letter.

CONDITIONS AND DEROGATIONS

Any formal conditions to be imposed upon the registration of closed-ended investment schemes or any derogations from or modifications of the rules will be incorporated into the final registration letter.

ANNUAL FEE

Upon registration, the annual fee becomes due, which is reduced pro rata in the first year: an invoice will be sent with the registration letter.

Investment Compartments Qualifying Investor Funds & Registered Collective Investment Schemes – Fast Track– Existing

Applicable rules

Depending on the type of scheme for which application is made, one of the following fund rules will apply, under which approval is issued:

Specific criteria and principles

A fast track approach is available in respect of the approval of investment compartments (i.e. sub-funds, cells and share classes) of QIFs and Registered Funds.

Application Pack

APPLICATION FORM

Submission of a fully completed signed and dated Form QIFSFor Form REGSF, together with the documentation required by those forms.

Application Form QIFSF

 Application Form REGSF

APPLICATION FEE

The fee is non-refundable; Fees

Application process

We will assess and review the application pack and inform the applicant, or its professional advisers, of any matters requiring expansion or clarification. Once all queries have been satisfied, the application will be referred to a decision-maker. A formal response will follow decision-making.

Timeframe

INDICATIVE TIMEFRAME

The Commission will issue approval to the additional compartment within three business days of receiving the application. If the application pack is incomplete the application clock will not commence until all documentation and information has been submitted.

APPLICATION QUALITY

Any minor queries resulting from the Commission's initial assessment of the application will be referred back to the prospective Guernsey administrator acting on behalf of the applicant with the aim that resolution of the issue can be achieved within the three day period.

WRITTEN RESPONSE

We reserve the right to reset the application clock if the nature and number of issues requiring expansion and clarification are substantial.

Application conclusion

APPROVAL

Successful applicants will be issued with approval by way of letter.

DEROGATIONS

Any derogation which may have been requested by the applicant prior to the application being considered will normally be included in the approval letter.

ANNUAL FEE

No pro rata fee is payable at the conclusion of the application.