Can you recommend a company to administer my company, trust or foundation?

The Commission ​is the regulatory body for the finance sector in the Bailiwick of Guernsey and it is not in a position to recommend a particular trust or corporate services provider.  Please refer to the Regulated Entities pages of the website for a list of entities licensed to conduct business in or from within the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

Do we have to submit audited financial statements for the primary and secondary fiduciary licensees?

Under The Fiduciary Rules and Guidance 2021 each licensed fiduciary holding a primary or secondary fiduciary licence must submit audited financial statements to the Commission within 4 months of the end of the relevant accounting period. These must either be separate sets of financial statements for the primary fiduciary licensee and each of its secondary fiduciary licensees, or aggregated under the primary fiduciary’s name. Such aggregated or consolidated financial statements should not include the financial statements of any entity which does not hold a fiduciary licence.

Should primary fiduciary licensees choose to aggregate or consolidate their financial statements they may do so. Where this is the case, notes to the financial statements should identify which fiduciary licensed entities in their group are included. The notes should also explain if the financial statements capture any income or expenditure which is attributable to a secondary fiduciary licensee’s activities but paid through the primary fiduciary licensee.

Under The Financial Services Commission (Administrative Financial Penalties) (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Regulations, 2016, as amended, any licensee who fails to submit its audited financial statements on time is subject to a fine. Please note that all licensees, including secondary fiduciary licensees, are subject to these penalties.

The audited financial statements and supporting documentation should be submitted via the Online Submissions Portal.

Do I need a fiduciary licence?

​If you are an individual you will need a personal fiduciary licence to act as a director of a company, a co-trustee or protector of a trust, an executor of a will or administrator of an estate provided you are receiving an income, fee, emolument or other consideration in money or money's worth for doing so.

If you are a company incorporated in Guernsey or Alderney you will need a primary or secondary fiduciary licence to carry on regulated activities by way of business from anywhere in the world.

If you are a company other than one incorporated in Guernsey or Alderney you will need a primary or secondary fiduciary licence to carry on regulated activities by way of business from or within the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

Regulated activities are set out under section 2 of The Regulation of Fiduciaries, Administration Businesses and Company Directors, etc. (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2020, ("the Law") and include the formation, management or administration of trusts, companies, partnerships or other unincorporated bodies or the provision of advice in relation to their formation.

There are various statutory exemptions which are set out under section 3 of the Law which can be carried on without the need for a fiduciary licence.

Commission staff will be happy to provide general explanations of what activities the Law covers. However, Commission staff cannot provide legal advice in respect of specific circumstances and if you are in any doubt as to the position you should seek advice from an Advocate of the Royal Court of Guernsey.

How do I apply for a fiduciary licence?

​Details of how to apply for a fiduciary licence are set out in the Applications page of this website.

How do I find out whether a particular company/individual has a fiduciary licence?

​A list of persons holding a fiduciary licence is available on the Regulated Entities page of this website.

Alternatively, if you know the name of the individual or company you are looking for you can use the search facility at the top of this page.

How many directorships can I hold before I need a personal fiduciary licence?

The role of acting as a director in or from within the Bailiwick is a regulated activity for which a fiduciary licence is required whether the role is undertaken by an individual or a corporate director.

There is a limited exemption in the Fiduciaries Law which allows individuals to hold up to a maximum of 6 directorships, which are not subject to any other exemptions in the Fiduciaries Law, without the need to obtain a personal fiduciary licence.

This exemption is not available to corporate directors who must be licensed under the Fiduciaries Law. The exemption does not cover the provision of any other corporate services including providing a registered office.

The Commission has the power to disapply this exemption if it determines that, in having regard to the minimum licensing criteria in Schedule 1 to the Fiduciaries Law, an individual is not fit and proper to be a director of a company. This can include instances where the individual has failed to comply with any of the anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing legislation and the rules of the Handbook for Financial Services Businesses on Countering Financial Crime and Terrorist Financing (“Handbook”).

Whilst an individual utilising this exemption does not require a personal fiduciary licence, he remains subject to the Proceeds of Crime Law and is required to comply with the requirements in the Criminal Justice Proceeds of Crime Regulations and the rules in the Handbook, which can be found here.

This means that those individuals acting as director under this exemption must undertake customer due diligence on the beneficial ownership of the companies they serve and carry out ongoing monitoring of the companies’ activities to the same regulatory standard as any other Bailiwick financial services business.

The Commission may enquire into the number and nature of an individual’s directorships where the number and nature of directorships held suggest that a personal fiduciary licence may be required under the Fiduciaries Law.

This exemption from licensing may be found in section 3(1)(g) of the Fiduciaries Law.

Directors using the exemption under section 3(1)(g) may be required, in certain circumstances, to register with the Commission. Further information may be found at the following link: https://www.gfsc.gg/industry-sectors/prescribed-businesses/director-registration-regime

What do I do if I have a complaint against a licensed fiduciary?

Details of what to do if you have a complaint against a licensed fiduciary are included in the Complaints section of this website.​

What other documentation or information should be provided with the audited financial statements?

Under The Fiduciary Rules and Guidance 2021 ("the Rules") each licensed fiduciary holding a primary or secondary fiduciary licence must submit the following:

  1. A copy of any management letter received from the licensee’s external auditor (Rule 2.4.2(6) of the Rules) and if no such letter has been issued, confirmation to this extent.
  2. A copy of any report prepared by an internal or external auditor, an accountant or a consultant which is available to the licensee and addresses a breakdown of, or material weakness in the licensee’s internal control procedures (Rule 2.4.2(5) of the Rules).

For the avoidance of doubt, if no report has been issued in respect of 2. above, please provide confirmation to the Commission to this extent upon submission of the audited financial statements.

Under The Financial Services Commission (Fees) Regulations, 2022 ("the Fees Regulations") each licensed fiduciary holding a primary fiduciary licence must provide details of gross turnover from regulated activities certified by the licensee’s auditor if not evident from the audited financial statements (Regulation 11(13)(b) of the Fees Regulations).  Regulation 13(1) of the Fees Regulations defines "regulated activity" for the purposes of regulation 11 of those regulations as meaning activity described in section 2 of the Fiduciaries Law.

The audited financial statements and supporting documentation should be submitted via the Online Submissions Portal.

What qualifications should a licensee hold?

The GTA University Centre, in consultation with the Commission and finance industry professional and educational bodies, publishes a training matrix for each sector. The Fiduciary Qualification Matrix is available by following the link to the GTA University Centre website.

What are the requirements for individuals acting as a director?

The applicable requirements are explained in the following guidance and FAQs: Requirements for Individuals Acting as a Director

How do I request incorporation consent for a PCC or an ICC?

Incorporation of a PCC or an ICC in the Bailiwick requires written consent from the Commission, pursuant to Sections 438 and 469 of The Companies (Guernsey) Law 2008, respectively. This is also the case when the PCC or ICC is not going to be carrying out regulated financial activities.

When considering whether it is appropriate for a PCC or an ICC to be incorporated, the Commission must have regard to protection of the public interest. This includes the need to:

  • Protect the public, in Guernsey and elsewhere, against the effects of dishonesty, incompetence, and malpractice
  • Counter financial crime and the financing of terrorism in Guernsey and elsewhere, and
  • Protect and enhance the reputation of the Bailiwick as a financial centre.

A written request for consent to incorporate should be sent to [email protected]. The submission must include details of all the directors and beneficial owners of the proposed PCC/ICC, together with a high-level business plan for the structure. The latter should include details of all related entities and service providers.

An application fee of £500 must accompany any request for consent to incorporate when the PCC/ICC will not be directly regulated by the Commission.

FAQs - The Fiduciary Rules and Pension Rules