Following a request by the Commerce and Employment Department (“C&E”) the Commission released a consultation paper last September on the steps required to implement the new Guernsey Financial Advice Standards (“GFAS”). C&E had identified that the introduction of GFAS would protect and enhance Guernsey’s reputation as a leading International Financial Centre, provide better value service from more professional advisers and a more transparent fee structure - all of which would benefit consumers.
The implementation of GFAS will also improve professional standards, make adviser charging more transparent and reduce potential conflicts of interest, contributing to the protection of the public.
The Commission is grateful to everyone who took the opportunity to respond to the Consultation Paper. A feedback paper on the consultation has today been published on the Commission’s website detailing the views received and the Commission’s response to these views.
The Commission will shortly be issuing a further consultation paper incorporating drafts setting out the proposed changes to be made as a result of the introduction of GFAS to:
the Licensees (Conduct of Business) Rules, 2009 issued under the Protection of Investors (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 1987, as amended (“POI Law”); and
the Conduct of Business Rules and the Code of Conduct for Authorised Insurance Representatives (“AIRs”) issued under The Insurance Managers and Insurance Intermediaries (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2002, as amended (“the IMIIL”)
together with a draft of the Code of Conduct for Financial Advisers proposed to be issued under the IMIIL.
Of particular significance is that the Conduct of Business Rules will be revised to streamline requirements with the Licensees (Conduct of Business) Rules, 2009 and investment licenses will, in future, be required to notify the Commission of those employees who are appointed to provide investment advice to retail clients.
In the interim, the Commission has published the proposed table of Acceptable Qualifications that will be introduced through the implementation of GFAS which establishes those qualifications that are of an acceptable standard to be held by a Financial Adviser.
Finally the Commission has published a Guidance Note on Training and Supervision Schemes for Financial Advisers to assist licensees to design and implement a training and supervision scheme for their Financial Advisers. The term Financial Adviser will encompass advisers of POI licensees advising retail clients on controlled investments and AIRs providing advice on long term business, excluding permanent health and life cover as set out in Schedule 1 to the IMIIL.