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MONEYVAL - Guernsey an effective international partner in anti-money laundering and combating the funding of terrorism

MONEYVAL, a leading international body for assessing the effectiveness of measures in place to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism has issued a highly positive report on Guernsey.

The report shows that Guernsey has made major progress against the evolving international standards in these areas - and has surpassed the equivalent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report that assessed Guernsey in these areas back in 2010.  It also makes recommendations for how Guernsey might further strengthen its system.

Headline findings from Guernsey's report include:

  • The Bailiwick has substantially strengthened the anti-money laundering and combating the funding of terrorism preventive measures to which its financial institutions are subject

  • The Bailiwick has in place a range of measures to facilitate various forms of international cooperation

  • Competent authorities and financial institutions are highly competent, knowledgeable and aware of their obligations

  • Co-operation and co-ordination between Bailiwick authorities is effective

Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, the Chief Minister said:

"The MONEYVAL evaluation is extremely important. As a jurisdiction with a global finance sector, we need to demonstrate that we continue to meet in practice the highest international standards of law enforcement and regulation - and we have done so. MONEYVAL is an inter-governmental organisation of the Council of Europe and so this high level assessment also sends a very clear and positive signal to the 47 member states of that Council regarding Guernsey's strong international position in terms of these standards.

"Although the Policy Council leads and co-ordinates Guernsey's engagement with evaluations by MONEYVAL, this is very much a 'team Guernsey' process. Law Enforcement, the Law Officers, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission as well as businesses in Guernsey have had significant involvement in this, as well as the States.

"The Policy Council is enormously grateful for the input and resource that has been contributed across the Bailiwick."

MONEYVAL reports examine the efficiency of measures taken to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism in the legislative, financial regulatory, law enforcement and judicial sectors, with recommendations made to improve the domestic system to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

As part of this it has looked at areas such as:

  • Legal systems and related institutional measures

  • Preventive measures undertaken by financial institutions

  • Preventive measures undertaken by designated non-financial businesses and professions

  • Legal persons and arrangements, and non-profit organisations

  • National and international co-operation

Deputy Le Tocq said:

"Meeting the highest international standards helps to sustain our economy, by encouraging businesses to come to Guernsey and by ensuring stability. It also helps to ensure we cement our reputation as a co-operative and transparent jurisdiction, and one that takes seriously its obligations as a major international finance centre. So not only is Guernsey open for business - it is a safe, stable and good place to do business."

Patrick Firth, Chairman of the Guernsey International Business Association (GIBA) said:

"Meeting global standards ensures Guernsey can do global business. Our members fully recognise that, and support the commitment of the States and the Guernsey Financial Services Commission to doing that.  The MONEYVAL evaluation is a very important part of ensuring and demonstrating that we meet international standards, and businesses in Guernsey have willingly been engaged in the evaluation as well."

Richard Walker, the Policy Council's Director of Financial Crime and Regulatory Policy, said:

"Broadly speaking, there are two parts to a MONEYVAL evaluation. The first part is assessing our system and how it works, examining how the different parts of the system interact with each other. The second part is making recommendations for how we might further strengthen the system. The finalisation and publication of the evaluation report means that the next phase of work now begins.

"It is rewarding for all of the competent authorities in the Bailiwick to know that this independent and detailed technical review confirms that we are a major international finance centre, with a mature legal and regulatory system, and a firm commitment to playing our part in preventing and fighting money laundering and the funding of terrorism."

Deputy Kevin Stewart, Minister for Commerce & Employment said:

"The Policy Council and Bailiwick authorities took the conscious decision to go ahead with this evaluation at the earliest opportunity in order to demonstrate Guernsey's role in maintaining and promoting global standards and international financial stability.

"I am pleased that among other things the evaluation clearly demonstrates that in Guernsey the beneficial ownership information of legal persons is obtainable where trust and corporate service providers are involved in the formation, management or administration of legal persons, and that this information can be accessed by authorities in a timely manner. We are at the forefront of beneficial ownership information in Guernsey through our regulatory framework, and we will also work with the detailed MONEYVAL evaluation to see how we can enhance that framework."

William Mason, Director General of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission said:

"I would like to thank all those in Guernsey's financial services industry who gave their time freely to explain to Moneyval the high standards which they apply in their day to day work.  Without their efforts, it would have been far far harder to demonstrate to Moneyval how we implement robust measures against money laundering and terrorist financing in the Bailiwick. 

"I would also like to thank the financial crime team at the Commission and their colleagues at other authorities in the Bailiwick for their efforts throughout the preparation and aftermath of the Moneyval inspection.  We emerge from the inspection stronger with there being much more understanding of the Bailiwick in continental Europe as a result of the intense interaction with Moneyval inspectors from across Europe over the past two years."

André Wilsenach, Executive Director of the Alderney Gambling Control Commission said:

"MONEYVAL's findings that the Bailiwick's eGambling sector is highly compliant and that our supervisory regime is both effective and robust reflects our continuing commitment to meeting international standards and preventing money laundering and the funding of terrorism."