The issue is given significant presence in the annual report of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, which said that preparing for the visit was at the centre of its current three-year business plan.
‘The economic costs to the Bailiwick of being grey-listed by the Financial Action Task Force after a Moneyval inspection would be high,’ said GFSC director-general William Mason, writing in the annual report.
‘The commission is not, alone, responsible for the outcome of the Moneyval inspection as industry, various other public sector bodies and the States are also involved, with the Bailiwick as a whole needing to demonstrate competence across 11 immediate outcomes. We are, however, determined to play our part in helping the Bailiwick achieve a positive outcome against the markedly higher standards to which Moneyval will work, relative to those it used during the 2015/16 inspection.’
Guernsey returned one of the best-ever assessments in 2015/16 and the pressure is on for the island to stay at that level.
It is currently enhancing financial crime regulatory returns and building up data which will help the island show Moneyval inspectors that the island understands money laundering and seeks to effectively mitigate risks.
Recruitment into the GFSC’s financial crime division should mean it can carry out a third more on-site visits with a financial crime focus this year, again satisfying Moneyval expectations.
Regulatory issues to be addressed include the development of a Credit and Finance Law, which will enable the regulation of consumer credit, fintech, and virtual asset service providers in an internationally-compliant fashion.
The commission is also supporting the States to develop international trade agreements being created following Brexit.
‘We will continue to work to make sure that the Bailiwick’s businesses are recognised as being regulated to internationally-expected standards and can, in consequence, continue to be used for the international clients on which the Bailiwick’s international financial centre depends,’ said Mr Mason.
‘It is difficult to overemphasise the importance of the success of this work for the long-term economic prosperity of the Bailiwick.
‘Being fully integrated into the enhanced systems for services trade being created by the UK after Brexit will allow us to continue to add value to the global economy.’