The Commission has a risk-based approach to the supervision of its licensees. Where appropriate, the Commission will address contraventions or misconduct by agreement with the licensee or individual(s) concerned through ordinary supervisory processes and will endeavour to agree the implementation of a remedial action plan to restore that licensee or individual to compliance as soon as possible. This may involve agreement to changes in corporate governance, management and internal controls, or agreement to discontinue some or all of the person's operations or areas of activity, or agreement to amended or additional licence conditions framed to encourage or ensure compliance.
However, that approach is not always possible.
There will be a need for more assertive enforcement action by the Commission, involving the use of its statutory powers, for example where action by agreement is not considered to be sufficient or appropriate, or where co-operation is lacking, or where the contravention or misconduct is of sufficient seriousness.
The Commission will generally seek to use its enforcement powers in relation to more serious or repeated breaches of the law although it would be improper for the Commission to rule out enforcement proceedings in relation to any breach. The Commission, in light of international practice, will always seek the imposition of a public statement from the Enforcement Process, subject to the grounds set out under section 38(1) of the Enforcement Powers Law being appropriately taken into account. Where the grounds under section 38(1) of the Enforcement Powers Law are satisfied, the Senior Decision Maker must also consider the factors in 38(2) of the Enforcement Powers Law to justify the imposition of such a statement and will have had the opportunity to consider any submissions made. It is noted that a public statement both makes clear the identity of the individual involved but also raises awareness of the issues where standards have fallen short. When settling with the Commission, a matter that requires the agreement of all parties, the Commission would expect a public statement to be issued.
The Commission will work cooperatively with the financial services sector, which recognises that enforcement of the regulatory and supervisory regimes for which the Commission is responsible is expected by the international community.
Guidance on the Commission's general approach to the enforcement process which it administers
On 22 April 2016 the Commission published guidance in response to a decision made by the States of Guernsey in January of this year requiring the Commission to publish such guidance (see Billet d’Etat V of 2016).