Commission’s 2020 Annual Report13th May 2021
The Commission has today published its 2020 annual report and financial statements.
Talking about the report, the Commission’s Director General, William Mason noted that: “Last year, in common with the rest of the world, the Bailiwick had to deal with the effects of the global pandemic. During that period, the Commission faced a number of additional challenges as did our licensees. I was therefore particularly pleased that despite this, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our staff, we managed to undertake a significant amount of policy work in addition to developing a new approach to the day job of supervising over 2,000 financial services entities whose offices were closed and their staff working from home. In the circumstances, we also turned in a pretty reasonable financial performance given the challenges and constraints with which we had to contend.”
Much of the key policy work undertaken last year was designed to assist industry including, for example, the introduction of a fast track application regime for managers of overseas collective investment schemes. In addition, a new process was introduced for the formation of new cells within an insurance protected cell company to enable trusted insurance providers to form cells more quickly to meet client demand in a flexible fashion. 2020 also saw the Commission became the first regulator in the world to offer an enhanced capital regime for insurers investing in good quality green assets which should help to underpin the Bailiwick’s ‘green’ credentials.
During 2020, the Commission also consulted on a significant piece of deregulation to repeal the non- Guernsey Fund Scheme Rules thereby lightening the bureaucratic burden on fund administrators. Additionally, a separate consultation paper was released which proposed two improvements to the Private Investment Fund regime to enhance our PIF offering for professional investors whilst also creating a regulated family office investment vehicle. Both of these policy initiatives have very recently been implemented.
On the legislative front, the revised regulatory laws continued to be progressed in 2020 and are now likely to be enacted towards the end of 2021. Additionally, the new Credit and Finance proposals which the Commission had been developing in conjunction with the States were passed at the beginning of 2021 and will, once enacted, improve consumer protection for vulnerable borrowers and at the same time provide a “fit for purpose” regulatory regime for new FinTech businesses which should act as an incentive for them to establish themselves in the Bailiwick.
Commenting on the events of last year, Commission Chairman, Drs Cees Schrauwers, said: “The overriding conclusion is that the Bailiwick’s financial services industry again proved its resilience and adaptability in the face of a crisis. For our part, the Commission took the early opportunity at the onset of the pandemic to introduce some temporary measures to assist firms while their staff were getting to grips with working from home. At the same time, we adapted our supervisory approach to enable us to focus at a macro level on the financial stability of the industry and hence the Bailiwick as a whole. Our overall assessment is that the industry came through the crisis in good shape and is well placed to deal with future challenges.”