As the result of the implementation of Ernst & Young LLP’s review of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission two regulatory/supervisory functions are being centralised to improve efficiency and consistency. An Authorisations Unit and an Anti-Money Laundering Division have been established. Previously these were undertaken separately by and within each of the Divisions.
Owners, directors and senior managers within licensed businesses are required to meet the personal questionnaires (PQs) “fit and proper” criteria. Through the processing of 1,700 PQs each year, as well as 1,600 personal declarations (PDs) updating the Commission when an individual’s circumstances change, the Commission is able to make an assessment of individuals against those criteria.
Manus Carvill, Assistant Director in charge of the Authorisations Unit, said: “The Commission will now be better able to track progress on PQs and PDs, and respond to licensees within a consistent timeframe. With four separate regulatory Divisions, consistency in their processing has been difficult to achieve. The new policies and procedures will be supported by enhanced IT functionality, which will improve efficiency and cost-effectiveness by providing better management information.”
During the course of 2013, the Authorisations Unit will also come to assume further functions in the processing of authorisations.
The AML Division will enable the Commission to apply a Commission-wide risk-based approach to anti-money laundering and financial crime surveillance, which is consistent with the revised international standards published by the Financial Action Task Force.
This will include better coordination of on-site visits, to minimise inconvenience to licensees, and also a more pro-active and constructive approach to the preparation for site visits so that the Division can be more efficient during the visit and use its time on-site more effectively.
David McCloskey, Assistant Director, in charge of the AML Division, said: “Centralising AML will ensure efficient, effective and consistent delivery across all areas by providing a focused centre of expertise.”
There has been no increase in the Commission’s headcount as a result of creating the new business functions as all staff were previously employed in other roles.
Neville Johnson, Chief Operating Officer at the GFSC, said: “The work to centralise these two important functions of the Commission’s work is an excellent example of our progression of the recommendations of Ernst & Young LLP’s independent evaluation review. It will improve the quality of delivery of the Commission and should be welcomed by licensees.”