Packed finance audience hears the latest on Moneyval

THERE was standing room only at St James as more than 500 finance industry professionals learned more implications of the island’s forthcoming Moneyval inspection from the industry regulator.

GFSC chairman Julian Winser. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31339560)
GFSC chairman Julian Winser. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31339560)

The Guernsey Financial Services Commission has said it is prioritising the island’s preparation for Moneyval, the ‌permanent monitoring mechanism of the Council of Europe for anti-money laundering and counter-financing terrorism measures, for the next 18 months.

It is working alongside the States, the Economic & Financial Crime Bureau and the Financial Intelligence Unit in making preparations.

The inspection, also known as a ‘mutual evaluation’ is due to start in Q3 next year.

The island will host inspectors in the first few weeks of 2024. They will be looking to visit between 30 and 40 licensed businesses over the course of a fortnight.

The results of the evaluation should be published towards the end of the year.

‘There is no question that the evaluation will be tough,’ said GFSC chairman Julian Winser.

‘Our measures are effective, but we must prove we’re effective and must evidence those outcomes by showing results, not just relying on suitable practices.’

Legal changes are currently going through the States. ‘We need to ensure that the measures taken reflect our requirements so that Guernsey remains not only a well-regulated jurisdiction but one with a sensible, clearly understood and practical approach that’s easy to operate.’

Mr Winser also said that the GFSC would be working closely with all stakeholders. The States is leading the Moneyval response but industry also needed to be involved in discussions.

‘It is important that we understand and agree the level of risk we require, that we communicate well and in the same language.’

Guernsey’s most recent assessment in 2014 delivered a world-leading set of results, but there is a risk in the process of being required to follow an enhanced follow-up process of annual reporting and an ultimate threat of being grey-listed for business.

Comment, page 12

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