Consultation on ‘six directorship’ exemption for directors

24th November 2022

The Policy & Resources Committee has today published a Consultation Paper seeking views on a proposed change to the requirements which affect some individuals acting as company directors, by way of business, in or from within the Bailiwick. The Commission encourages industry and stakeholders to contribute their feedback.

Acting as a director for any company in the Bailiwick, by way of business, requires directors to hold a personal fiduciary licence granted by the Commission under the Fiduciaries Law[1]. There are a number of exemptions to this requirement. By way of example, some of these include when a director is the director of a local trading company based in Guernsey, when the person is a director of a company quoted on a recognised stock exchange; or when the company is supervised by the Commission; or when an individual holds directorships in the course of their duties as an employee of a licensed trust and corporate services provider.

One exemption under the Fiduciaries Law is the ‘six directorship’ exemption, which means individuals who hold directorships of six or fewer companies being directorships which are not subject to another exemption under the Fiduciaries Law, are not required to hold a personal fiduciary licence. They are however still subject to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing obligations. In 2015, a MONEYVAL[2] report recommended measures should be introduced to ensure effective compliance with these obligations.

The Policy & Resources Committee, following discussions with the Commission, is proposing changes which would see a registration framework extended to directors who come under the ‘six directorship’ exemption. This is proposed as a practical and proportionate solution to deliver on the recommendation. 

It is envisaged that certain directors will be exempt from the registration requirements. In addition, the proposals will not directly impact individuals who rely on other exemptions under the Fiduciaries Law (including those cited above i.e. charitable directorships, directors of companies based in Guernsey which are trading locally (such as local florists, grocers, restaurants), or employees of licensed fiduciaries acting as a director by virtue of their employment).

Further information, including details of proposed registration requirements and exemptions are included in the consultation document which can be found here.

The Commission will be holding drop-in sessions during the consultation period at which interested parties can learn more about the proposals, details of which will follow in due course.

 Comments can be sent in by emailing a response to [email protected] and [email protected] by 16 January 2023.

[1] The Regulation of Fiduciaries, Administration Businesses and Company Directors, etc (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2020 (the “Fiduciaries Law")

[2] The Council of Europe Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (“MONEYVAL”).