‘We simply have no option to comply with new standards’

A FIRM but not bureaucratic approach to AML CFT controls is the aim of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission as it gears up for next year’s Moneyval inspection.

GFSC director-general William Mason. (32235903)
GFSC director-general William Mason. (32235903)

‘We appreciate that some are nervous about the increase in regulation which is taking place in some areas as we gear up for Moneyval,’ said director-general William Mason in the commission’s annual report.

‘We think this nervousness comes, not because those concerned are not running good quality businesses, but rather from a concern about the compliance burden the revised regulations may entail in some areas.

‘We appreciate this and have tried hard to implement FATF standards in the least administratively burdensome way while maintaining compatibility with the proper compliance Moneyval will demand that industry collectively evidence.’

The commission has delivered several focused sessions for

industry on Moneyval’s expectations of firms in the past year, which it said were generally well received.

Mr Mason described the commission’s approach as being one of ‘pragmatic practitioners’.

‘While we will seek to offer the FATF secretariat our best advice to help it shape new standards, once those standards are adopted we simply have no option but to comply with them if we are to continue to be regarded as a reputable jurisdiction.

‘Thus, in implementing them, we do not believe that we are putting the Bailiwick at a competitive disadvantage but rather helping to maintain the battlements from which it currently competes.’

Moneyval inspectors are due to visit the island, and a number of firms, in the first quarter of 2024, some seven years since the Bailiwick’s last evaluation, which was a world-leader at the time.

Mr Mason said that global expectations over anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism had increased significantly since then.

The Bailiwick’s pre-evaluation submission to Moneyval is due this coming quarter.

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