GFSC ‘must measure up to expectations’

THE new chairman of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission has pledged to keep the organisation operating effectively and in tune with the expectations of the local finance industry.

 Julian Winser. (Picture By Sophie Rabey, 30914556)
Julian Winser. (Picture By Sophie Rabey, 30914556)

Julian Winser described himself as a ‘poacher-turned-gamekeeper’ in his new role, having become a commissioner in May 2021 and chairman last December, after retiring from a 23-year career with Schroders and Cazenove Capital in 2020, the last 15 of those in the island as head of its offshore private client business.

He said he has been asking GFSC stakeholders for their views on their expectations of the commission. He said the summary of his findings was:

n it must be easy to deal with;

n it must be cost-appropriate;

n it must be competent.

‘“Easy to deal with” is very clear. The commission must be approachable, speak a language that is understood by users, radiate an “open for business” attitude and be fair and appropriately clear,’ he said.

‘In a perfect world, it should be seen by all stakeholders to be of benefit to the Bailiwick’s finance industry as well as the citizens and customers whose interests it is established to serve.

‘The cost-appropriate requirement is obviously by jurisdictional comparison particularly measured by users, many of whom are large corporates and clients who operate either internationally or globally.

‘Intertwined with this is a comparison of quality. The final point regarding competence is wide-ranging as it covers many of the specific functions of the commission as appropriate to each of the stakeholders.

‘It does also necessarily define the bar required with respect to the level of expertise and knowledge of all commission staff.

‘Finally, and arguably most importantly, it should serve the Bailiwick in the manner and at the level the Bailiwick requires if it is to continue to prosper as an internationally respected financial services centre.’

Mr Winser has been keen to see if the commission is measuring up to these expectations. ‘To date it is clear to me... that the commission is delivering to a good standard.

‘There are no current significant issues but it is recognised, and acknowledged, that we can always do better and we are working on that.’

The commission’s current operational priorities include a focus on continuing preparations for the visit of European money laundering regulator Moneyval in early 2024.

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