GAT Newsletter March 2020

GAT Industry News

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Notice to GAT Members: COVID-19 Coronavirus

GAT is working hard to bring Members all relevant updates as they are publicised.  This includes notices from the States of Guernsey and Public Health, GIBA, the Revenue Service and any other information which it is felt members should be made aware of.  Please ensure you are on the mailing list to receive these updates.

You can sign up here - Mailing list signup

As the situation regarding the coronavirus has developed, Public Health Services has produced some General Guidance documents. These are being updated as the advice changes so please keep checking the following website to ensure you are up to date with the latest developments - SOG Covid-19 Guidance

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GAT Member's Luncheon

Currently our luncheon events are suspended.  Please ensure that you are signed up to our mailing list to receive any further event updates from us.

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Directors Duties

Directors of Licensees will be mindful in these extraordinary times of their duties towards their own incorporated entity, regardless of whether it is a local business or forms part of a larger group of companies.   Licensed entities are of course subject to the law, but holding a Licence from the Commission also adds various requirements laid down by the Commission in Rules, Conditions or other forms.

Directors are specifically reminded of the requirements regarding Financial Resources, both capital and liquidity as required by various Rules of the Commission.   Further, the Commission would expect Directors in these challenging times to be acting appropriately before making decisions to issue dividends, upstream excess capital or liquidity, intercompany loans or any other decision that materially financially weakens the local business being mindful that they may not be in a position to have full and perfect information coupled as well with their duties towards their own company.


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Regulatory Returns

The Commission is maintaining its efforts to monitor financial stability issues across the financial services sector. As part of this, the Commission considers it essential that firms continue to make accurate regulatory returns in a timely manner. The Commission appreciates that some firms may encounter challenges in their interactions with some third parties in preparing their regulatory returns and in those circumstances the Commission is content to receive requests for third party sign off to be delayed.


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National Risk Assessment Workshops

At the joint presentations on the National Risk Assessment (“NRA”) from the Commission, Policy and Resources Committee and Financial Intelligence Service in February, it was highlighted that the Commission would be running a series of interactive workshops in April to assist firms in developing their mitigation of the money laundering and terrorist financing risks to their business as identified in the NRA.  As indicated in the Commission’s statement of 16 March 2020 all large scale events have been postponed.  The Commission will issue an update on the NRA workshops in due course.


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Commission allows more time for Firms to complete Key Financial Returns

The Commission is conscious that almost all firms will be experiencing certain operational issues as they transition to an environment in which many of their staff will be working from home.  Mindful of this and of some significant impending deadlines for financial returns, it is making the following changes to its expectations:-

  • Returns to the Commission which would ordinarily require auditing (e.g. because they relate to a year end result) may be submitted in an unaudited form without a special concession being sought from the Commission.  This modifies the position we took in our media statement of 16th March – something we are prepared to do as the ability of people to work normally becomes increasingly impeded by the public health guidance necessary to constrain the spread of Covid-19.  As things stand, we will expect audited versions of the financial returns to be submitted by end October 2020 but we may delay this target date for the submission of audited financial information further as we see how Public Health advice evolves.  It will not be earlier than the end of October in any event.
  • Those financial returns for insurers, insurance intermediaries and managers, investment firms, funds and fiduciaries which would require submission by the end of April 2020, may be submitted at any point before the end of May 2020 in unaudited form.  Similarly, the deadline for submission of unaudited returns for other firms with a non-calendar financial year, is extended by 1 month.

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Energy Policy 2020 - 2050 published

Guernsey will seek to have net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, if the States agrees an Energy Policy published that sets a platform for the island to transition towards the ultimate goal of decarbonisation.

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The Committee for Home Affairs - Justice Review

The Committee for Home Affairs has published the Justice Review Policy Letter and Report.

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Discrimination proposals explained

Earlier this month the Committee for Employment & Social Security published a Policy Letter outlining proposals for new discrimination legislation.

Read more
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GIBA News Roundup

GAT are proud members of GIBA, representing the financial services industry in Guernsey.  GIBA News and media statements are posted here.

Business Groups Comment on Anti-Discrimination Proposals

3rd March 2020 – A joint statement from Guernsey Institute of Directors, Guernsey Chamber of Commerce, Guernsey International Business Association, Chartered Institute of Personnel Development and the Confederation of Guernsey Industry.

Click here to download

Measures to Combat Coronavirus and Complying with Substance Requirements

16th March 2020 – A statement from the Guernsey International Business Association surrounding COVID-19.

Click here to download

Don't forget to follow GIBA on LinkedIn


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Events Calendar

Remember to check our Events Calendar for Industry presentations and other events that may be of interest.

Forthcoming Events


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STEP Lecture Series

The 2019/20 STEP Lunchtime Lecture Series currently operates two lectures per month from September - June.

STEP Guernsey are grateful to Lecture Series sponsor Ogier, for supporting another year of our popular lunchtime lectures.

*CURRENTLY ALL LECTURES AND EVENTS ARE SUSPENDED*

Keep up to date with lecture news by signing up to the STEP Guernsey mailing list - you can sign up here - www.stepguernsey.org


STEP Worldwide COVID-19 Update

STEP has been monitoring the development of the COVID-19 situation around the world. Our primary concern is the health and wellbeing of our members, our staff, our volunteers, and our event and course delegates and we are working to support our members across the world through this difficult time.

Please see below information regarding STEP events and courses, which will be regularly reviewed in line with the evolving situation.

We have also established a technical hub, containing the latest information on actions governments and industry are taking in response to the spread of COVID-19.

Events

To provide a level of certainty, and in response to the restrictions being implemented globally regarding entering and leaving jurisdictions and the introduction of social distancing measures and restrictions on public gatherings, events managed from the STEP head office that are due to take place in March, April and May have been postponed. You can find further details below and on the webpages for those events affected. Branches and regions organising events locally are taking their own decisions based on local considerations.

The STEP Guernsey Branch have suspended all events in line with the advice from STEP head office and the States of Guernsey, until further notice.

Events from June onwards will continue as planned at present, but we will be monitoring this carefully and will keep you informed of any changes. We will do our best to maintain our seminar and webinar programme but members are asked to be patient if events have to be cancelled or rescheduled at short notice.


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Training and education

We recognise that many students are studying and preparing for exams, assessments and taught classes and may be concerned about what will happen. Please be reassured that, despite the current situation, students will continue to have the opportunity to access high-quality learning.

Face-to-face classes for all CLTi programmes will be moved to an online classroom until the end of May 2020, and CLTi will continue to review the situation for courses after that date. Many students are already studying via an online classroom, so if you are currently enrolled on a face-to-face option, you will still receive the same engaging learning experience but will be able to study remotely. This flexible option means that you can still actively participate in group discussions and exercises and benefit from peer-to-peer learning, but from the comfort of your office or home. If you are unable to attend the online classroom for any reason, you will have access to a recording of an appropriate online class to watch at a time convenient to you.

Assessments will be run on the current published dates, however, given the current restrictions, all assessments will move to online submission as open-book, non-invigilated assessments during April and May 2020. Students will be informed how this works for their specific assessment by 6 April 2020.

More details will be available to individual cohorts as classes, workshops and examinations approach and we work through the specific options in each location.

If you have any queries, please contact 

cltinternational@centlaw.com


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GTA Courses & Events

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the GTA has closed its office, training rooms and library to the public until further notice.

Members may be interested in the following courses and events taking place in April, all of which will be delivered online in a virtual classroom:

(1) Leading Teams in Challenging Times

This session offers pragmatic guidance on key principles that you can apply immediately for you and your teams to deal effectively with challenging times.

Cost: £60

Date: 21 April 2020

Times: 09.30-10:30

Further details and registration here.

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(2) Living and Working Resiliently

Our natural resilience is a combination of learned skills and personal characteristics but whatever your starting point this can be enhanced in quality and quantity. Life in our current reality can be like a ‘white water rafting experience’ (S Covey) but it doesn’t have to be this way. We must take time and take stock of where we are and how we can take best care of ourselves at this time and beyond.

Cost: £150

Date: 22 April 2020

Times: 09:30-12:30

Further details and registration here.

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(3) Introduction to FATCA and CRS

This course will assist those dealing with FATCA and CRS for the first time in getting to grips with the purpose, terminology and execution of Automatic Exchange of Information.Cost: £275

Cost: £99

Date: 28 April 2020

Times: 09.00-10:30

Further details and registration here.

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(4) Introduction to Project Management

This interactive half day course has been designed to update existing anti money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism knowledge by way of exercises and case studies – recapping on all the essentials and updating delegates on new developments.

Cost: £275

Date: 24 April 2020

Times: 09.00-17:00

Further details and registration here.


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Events Update

In light of the ongoing developments with COVID-19, we have taken the decision, in consultation with our industry partners, to cancel the Guernsey Seminar due to take place on 27 April in London, as well as the Family Office Briefing on 30 June.

The health and wellbeing of our guests and our staff has to be our overriding priority.

We are planning on still running our Guernsey Private Wealth Forum in London on 14 October, but will continue to monitor the situation in consultation with industry.

Should you require further information or have any queries, please contact Emily Wild.


Sponsor News



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We would like to give  thanks to our Sponsors for their support.

  • Alternative Solutions Limited
  • Carey Olsen
  • KPMG
  • Walkers (Guernsey) LLP
  • Raw Capital Partners
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Guernsey Employers: Brexit-Proofing your Workforce in a Shifting Immigration Landscape 

In this article, we look at the shifting immigration landscape following the Withdrawal Agreement and what Guernsey employers can do to protect their workforce during and after the transition period.

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Covid-19 Readiness – Statement from the Directors

As it becomes increasing likely that the Covid-19 virus will affect our employees, our company and our clients, we feel that it is necessary to advise all parties concerned what measures we are taking.

Our first duty of care is to our highly valued workforce and their families, so we are investing time and money to ensure that all personnel can work effectively and efficiently from home, in order that we are able to limit the chances of infection and continue to support our clients.

It is possible that some of our personnel may be affected by the Covid-19 virus and this could have some impact on the service that we provide but the strategy behind the measures that we are taking means that personnel will be able to perform their job function from home as if they were working in the office.

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The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on economic substance and tax residency in Guernsey and Jersey

The tax authorities of Guernsey and Jersey have confirmed that where operating practices have to be adjusted to compensate for the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), that will not mean a company has failed to meet economic substance requirements or (in the case of Jersey) disturbed its tax residence status, provided the adjustments are to the extent required to mitigate the threats from the outbreak and any changes are temporary.

This briefing looks at this latest development and the implications for companies and directors.

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The Emergency Powers (Coronavirus) (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Regulations 2020

On 18 March 2020, the States of Guernsey took the significant step of enacting emergency legislation as part of the Bailiwick's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

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