Guernsey’s Anti-Bribery and Corruption Committee has hosted a conference on anti-corruption, which was attended by over 450 delegates. This committee comprises representatives of the Law Officers’ Chambers, Guernsey Law Enforcement and the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.
The reference in the conference title to the “Puppet Masters” was taken, by courtesy of, and with thanks to, the World Bank from its recent report on anti-corruption. This report identified and explained how legal structures and entities have been used in a number of corruption cases.
A wide range of international and domestic speakers made presentations at the conference. The domestic speakers included representatives of the Law Officers’ Chambers, the Guernsey Border Agency and the Commission. The international speakers included representatives of the World Bank and other experts who covered subjects such as bribery, corruption, politically exposed persons, sanctions, international standards, criminal and civil law issues, and the practical effects of all of these on firms and individuals. The conference considered these issues so that delegates could put them in both a business and a Guernsey context. The committee made every effort to ensure that the event would add not only to industry’s understanding of the wider impact of corruption but also its understanding of risk in this high profile area.
Nik van Leuven, Director General of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, said:
“The theft of public assets from the Third World is an immense problem, with a staggering impact. In more advanced economies, bribery and corruption are, but not infrequently, understood to be the usual way of life and commerce. The consequences for jurisdictions such as Guernsey should not be underestimated. The corrupt and their agents require financial facilities. It is therefore important for all jurisdictions with a significant finance industry to actively counter corruption.
The main aim of the conference was to increase awareness of corruption issues within Guernsey’s finance sector. This was achieved as a result of the expertise of our presenters and the impressive turnout from the finance sector. The next step is for the Commission to issue anti-corruption guidance to the sector for consultation – I look forward to receiving industry’s views on this.”
Howard Roberts, HM Procureur, said:
“The Bailiwick authorities remain committed to playing a full part in the global fight against bribery and corruption, and have put in place a comprehensive legal framework which meets international standards in all relevant areas. These include criminal offences, the provision of mutual legal assistance and the implementation of sanctions.
It is vital that we continue to implement and enforce the framework effectively. It is also important to continue active engagement with foreign enforcement agencies and international institutions and bodies such as CARIN, StAR, the UNODC and the World Bank to monitor and respond to local and international developments if the Bailiwick is to maintain a strong reputation in tackling bribery and corruption.”
Mark de Garis, Assistant Chief Officer, Head of Cross Border Crime, Guernsey Border Agency said:
“The conference provided a good opportunity to better define the escalating risk local financial services face from overseas bribery and corruption and what can be done to help prevent or mitigate it. It was extremely pleasing to see the conference so well attended, which in turn demonstrates how seriously financial services businesses treat this risk”