On the 12th June 2013 the Commission issued a consultation paper concerning a proposed project involving the consolidation and revision of the regulatory and supervisory legislation for which it is responsible. The consultation period came to an end on the 9th October.
At present, financial services businesses in Guernsey are supervised by the Commission in accordance with several distinct Laws. Those Laws have been separately developed and enacted over 25 years and while each Law has been effective in its own terms, the differences between the Laws in relation to supervisory practices and procedures have resulted in inconsistencies of approach between the different types of regulated activity. This is seen as unhelpful to licensees and makes the efficient discharge of the Commission's functions more difficult.
William Mason, Director-General of the Commission said “we had originally envisaged that the development of a single new Law, which consolidated much of the existing supervisory legislation, would address the inconsistencies and bring the island’s regulatory and supervisory legislation up to date. At the same time we felt that it provided the opportunity for the Commission to create a single, streamlined, overarching set of policies, procedures and controls for supervision of the finance sector which would offer clear benefits for both the Commission and industry.
While it was clear from the outset that the proposed project would involve considerable work for the Commission’s staff, the consultation process has identified some understandable concerns from industry about the potential impact on businesses of implementing a new, consolidated law at this time. In that context, the industry has questioned both the timing and extent of the project. However, what has also emerged from the consultation process is an acknowledgement from industry that there are key components of the proposed project that cannot be indefinitely delayed.”
The Commission now intends to spend further time carefully considering the responses it has received and identifying the key areas that need to be treated as a priority. The Commission will then engage with government, the Guernsey International Business Association (GIBA), professional service providers and other interested parties, possibly through the establishment of a working party, in order to determine the most appropriate way forward. The Commission’s intention is to build a consensus around those aspects of the current legislative framework which must be prioritised for revision in order to meet emerging international requirements and so ensure that the island’s excellent reputation, as a good jurisdiction in which to do business, is maintained and enhanced.