Commission publishes 2023 Annual Report

6th June 2024

The Guernsey Financial Services Commission has today published its 2023 annual report and financial statements.

In the annual report, the Commission discusses: its preparations for the Bailiwick’s 2024 MONEYVAL inspection; its continued development of digital technology to enhance performance and streamline processes for industry; and the introduction of the new Lending, Credit and Finance Law which introduced internationally compliant financial crime regulation for virtual asset services providers (crypto), as well as consumer credit protection for citizens.

A central focus for the Commission in 2023 was preparing for the Bailiwick’s MONEYVAL evaluation. The onsite inspection took place in April 2024. The Commission worked closely with other authorities, including providing significant input into the Bailiwick’s second national risk assessment, or NRA2, and the Bailiwick’s first proliferation financing national risk assessment.

Enhancing performance and streamlining processes through digital technology were key themes in 2023, as the Commission continued to develop and roll out its Early Warning System (EWS) across the Commission. The augmented intelligence-enabled system assists supervisors in recognising firms that are displaying possible patterns of concern. During 2023, the Commission scoped and developed its plans to digitalise its applications and authorisations process with a new online Applications and Authorisations portal, due to launch in early 2025. The new system will streamline the process and allow online collaboration and communication throughout, making it easier to do business in the Bailiwick.

Reflecting on the year and the report, the Commission’s Director General, William Mason said: “While there was and continues to be significant geopolitical instability, Guernsey’s finance industry remained strong and steady in 2023. For the Commission’s part, preparation was our watchword in 2023, as we worked closely with other Bailiwick authorities in the run up to the MONEYVAL evaluation, and made significant strides in our digital transformation programme. Central to this is the development of the most significant ‘front of house’ technology project the Commission has undertaken in recent years to deliver a new digital shop window for all those willing to consider the merits of running their financial services businesses from Guernsey.

He also noted an important outcome for the Commission, saying: “In December, the Court of Appeal heard the Commission’s appeal of the Royal Court’s judgment in the case of Domaille et al. In overturning the Royal Court’s findings on every ground, the Court of Appeal found the Commission’s processes were applied properly in this matter and reaffirmed the importance of the Commission acting to combat financial crime in the jurisdiction.”

He ended by saying: “Finally, I would like to thank Julian Winser for his stewardship as Chairman. During his tenure, among other things, he championed our technology development programme and was an effective and encouraging Chairman. We wish him well.”