‘Unique’ senior decision makers working well for commission

GUERNSEY’S ‘unique’ system of appointing eminent lawyers to hear regulatory enforcement actions has been backed by one of the UK’s leading lawyers in financial regulation.

GFSC chairman Cees Schrauwers, left, and Michael Blair QC, the chairman of the 'unique' senior decision makers panel

Michael Blair QC is president of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission’s panel of senior decision makers, which was introduced by the commission in 2014 as a move to improve governance and independence of its enforcement process.

‘I think the system is unique,’ said Mr Blair.

‘It is a granting of authority to a delegate of the commission [to hear a case] when most other regions are slightly different in that they will have an external tribunal as an independent authority.

‘I think it’s a very useful thing for Guernsey to be able to have – an independent, high-quality, diverse body of people relieving the commission of the burden of taking difficult decisions themselves and providing high- quality judicial determination on a quasi-judicial basis, and I am satisfied that it is working well.’

Mr Blair described his role with the commission’s panel as that of a ‘non-playing captain’, in that he would make a recommendation as to which member of the QC panel should hear a particular case, but does not hear cases himself.