International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
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Guernsey is a leading international insurance center in Europe. Its economy purely depends on the performance of the financial sector. As per the 2003 assessment under the Offshore Financial Center (OFC) program, it is found that the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC)’s powers have been strengthened in recent years and many recommendations of the 2003 Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) have been implemented. The GFSC has developed a strategy for addressing banks' financial stability risks, but strong policy measures will be essential to deal with the potential vulnerabilities and challenges ahead.
Stress testing (ST) was undertaken as part of the Guernsey Financial sector assessment Program (FSAP) Update in order to assess the resilience of the Guernsey financial system to a variety of potential strains. The approach taken was a simulation of the effect of a potential double-dip recession on solvency of Guernsey banks and insurance companies. The STs assess the sensitivity of banks and insurance companies to single-factor shocks to risk types affecting solvency and liquidity position of institutions. The mission recommends that future STs should be risk-based and that macroprudential analysis should be run on a regular basis.
Guernsey’s status as the largest international insurance center in Europe hinges on its progressive infrastructure and operational flexibility. Guernsey updates its regulatory regime continually and has implemented all the recommendations arising from the 2003 Offshore Financial Center (OFC) assessment. The updated regulatory framework has a high level of observance with the Insurance Core Principles (ICPs). The Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) should expand its range of enforcement powers and also implement the public disclosure standards established by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS). The mission advised the GFSC to continually assess the practical implementation of Own Solvency Capital Assessment (OSCA).
Bailiwick of Guernsey has a Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) legal framework that provides the basis for an AML/CFT regime. It has a program to review and enhance AML/CFT legislation and monitor effectiveness of compliance with the AML/CFT regime. Assessors found that confiscation and provisional measures within Bailiwick are robust. They also found that previous designation mechanisms had a negative impact on the effectiveness of the mutual legal assistance system. The assessors recommended to enhance the requirements for the freezing and confiscation of terrorist assets, and also provided guidance.
The Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision (BCP) assessment confirms the high standard of prudential regulation and supervision described in the 2003 assessment, and found that the issues identified have largely been addressed. The Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC), being the integrated regulator, is responsible for the regulation and supervision of all financial institutions and services provided on the island, and as the banking supervisor, has disciplinary powers to address safety and soundness issues. The GFSC cooperates with the home supervisors of institutions active on the island. Several broad areas for further action have been identified.
This report provides a summary of the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) measures in place in Guernsey at the time of the mission or shortly thereafter. The assessors reviewed the institutional framework; the relevant AML/CFT laws, regulations, guidelines, and other requirements; and the regulatory and other systems in place to deter and punish money laundering (ML) and the financing of terrorism (FT) through financial institutions and Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBP). The assessors also examined the capacity, implementation, and effectiveness of all these systems.
The financial services sector plays a dominant role in the economy of Guernsey. The report is organized in two volumes. Volume I provides the findings and the Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSCs). Volume II provides the detailed assessments of the Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision, the insurance core principles, the objectives and principles of securities regulation, and the financial action task force recommendations, as well as a review against the Offshore Group of Banking Supervisors (OGBS) statement of best practice for trust and company service providers.
The completion of the detailed assessment serves several purposes. First, it benchmarks the current state of banking supervision, recognizing that there have been extensive changes in the last years. Second, it suggests a number of further improvements or changes. Thus, this report provides a key input for the development of an action plan to move toward full compliance with the Core Principles. The assessment of the effectiveness of banking supervision was based on a review of the legal framework.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.