GAT Newsletter October 2019

GAT Industry News

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News


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Technical Committee support required

Members will be acutely aware of the ever increasing pressure on the fiduciary industry to keep up with the proposed regulatory changes and global challenges facing practitioners in Guernsey.  The GAT/STEP Combined Technical Committee consider such issues on an arising basis and make numerous responses throughout the year.

The Technical Committee are looking to recruit additional professionals from within the membership to support the GAT/STEP Combined Technical Committee in their work which is central to the sector. 

Due to the nature of the work and the need for continuity, individual applications are sought (rather than a number of staff from within one firm).  These individuals need to be able to commit approximately 10 hours per annum and should be aware that their input could be required at any time during the year.

If you are interested please contact the Technical Committee.

Email us
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Proposed Firms’ Forum on FRR Rules -Member participation

The below message was sent out to Members earlier this month and we have received significant interest to date. If any further firms wish to participate please contact us by 9th November.

GAT has been approached to ascertain whether there is enough interest to merit creating a forum to review the Financial Resources Requirements Rules (FRR Rules), specifically to share how firms are interpreting and approaching these.  Such a forum would present an opportunity to discuss issues with applying the FRR Rules, with a view to raising any major issues with the Commission. 

We look forward to hearing from you if your firm would like to be involved in such a forum.

Email us
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Industry Roundup October 2019

Please find below the Chairman's Industry Roundup from the October 2019 Luncheon Meeting.

Industry Roundup
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Business Risk Assessments and Policies, Procedures and Controls - Timeframe changes

The Commission has today issued proposals to amend the transitional rules in the Handbook on Countering Financial Crime and Terrorist Financing regarding the timeframes for firms to update their Business Risk Assessments and Policies, Procedures and Controls, which take into account the revised timeframe for the publication of the Bailiwick’s National Risk Assessment. There are no changes proposed to the timeframes for undertaking the review of existing business relationships.

A short memorandum and redlined draft of Chapter 17 of the Handbook outline the proposed changes.  These documents are available via the following links:

Underlying Memorandum

Chapter 17. Transitional Provisions - Proposed Changes


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Specific Discretionary Exemptions

After due consideration, the Commission will be amending our approach to specific discretionary exemptions (an “exemption”) in two ways:

 1)     To clarify the extent of an exemption.

2)     To apply a 3-year time limit to an exemption.

To read how these changes will be effected please follow the below link.

Read more
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Changes to the Online Submissions ('OS') Portal & Personal Questionnaire ('PQ') Portal

The Guernsey Financial Services Commission have advised that they will be carrying out a number of form upgrades over the coming months, and members may notice that some of the forms they access look different.

The GFSC have advised that:-

"We are upgrading the portal forms and as we do so, we are adding new features to enhance the 'user experience' and in some instances we are also making changes to the form content."

The changes will make the forms more intuitive and should guide the user through the process of completing the form with, for example, the field and tab 'traffic light' progress indicators and better placed information and tooltips.

You will no longer be able to preview the tabs in a form until it is 'created'. The PQ form will still need to be in 'edit mode' in order to update it.

Some minor changes to the form content i.e. new questions or sections, may not be obvious until you start completing the form, this is because they may be conditional on the response in a previous question.

Where major changes have happened to a form, or where they are introducing a new return to an industry sector, these will have gone through an industry consultation first and your firm should be aware of the changes being made.

For further information about the new features being added to the forms, please see OS Portal New Features here.

To read the full article including details of optimising the user's experience please click here.


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2019 Financial Crime Risk Return Reminder

The Commission wishes to remind all financial services and prescribed businesses (with the exception of personal fiduciary licensees) that the Financial Crime Risk Return (“the Return”) is due for submission by 31 October 2019.

The Return can be found through the Commission’s Online Submissions Portal, located here: https://submit.gfsc.gg/

Further information on the background to the Return, as well as guidance on its completion, can be found in the guidance document available through this link:

Financial Crime Risk Return – A Guide for Firms

Any users encountering difficulties in accessing the Online Submissions Portal or in completing the Return should contact the Commission’s Helpdesk by telephone on 733420 or e-mail support@gfsc.gg


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Statement by the President of the Committee for Home Affairs

On Wednesday 16th October a general update was provided by Deputy Mary Lowe, President of the Committee for Home Affairs.

In her address she covers a number of key issues which will be of interest to members.

Read full speech
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Opening up avenues for new business for Guernsey

Significant progress for Guernsey in South Africa’s pensions, private wealth and funds sectors was highlighted at Guernsey Finance’s BD Update event on Thursday 24 October.

View Slides
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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. 

GIBA Chairman responds to a requete being placed by the States to revisit debate on extending Guernsey’s runway - GIBA Statement

GIBA Chairman responds to the island’s 2020 budget - Click here to view

Don't forget to follow GIBA on LinkedIn


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Summary minutes

Please find below a link to the summary minutes for September's meeting of GIBA Council.

GIBA Summary Minutes September 2019


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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.

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

You can find details of the upcoming lectures below.


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STEP Lunchtime Lecture Number 5

Wednesday 20th November 2019

The Dorey Room, St James, 12 p.m.

Legal hotspots in Guernsey's fiduciary market by Gavin Ferguson and Alice Bricogne, Ogier LLP

Presentation summary:

In this lecture Gavin Ferguson and Alice Bricogne will look at current points of interest such as trustee fees and expenses (including in the context of "insolvent" trusts), the pitfalls of granting powers of attorney, and developments and problems in the CRS landscape.

Click to book
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STEP Asia 2019

The award-winning STEP Asia Conference will take place on Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 November in Singapore with two full days of speakers, specialist breakout sessions, panel discussions and a vibrant social program ideal for developing your business opportunities.

WE ARE GUERNSEY will be exhibiting at this year's conference. We are sponsoring the networking lunch on day one, as well as two discussions on day two:-

- 'Professionalisation of the Family Office' breakfast briefing. IQ-EQ Client Services Director Stuart Dowding - now based in Hong Kong but previously worked in the firm's Guernsey office - will be speaking at this briefing, which will discuss why trends in family office services are leading to Guernsey being seen as a jurisdiction of choice for family office services.

- Specialist topic: 'Multiple wills - how do we deal with them?' Ogier Partner Marcus Leese will be part of the panel.

Come along and see We are Guernsey at stand 24!

View Brochure
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GTA Courses & Events

Members may be interested in the following courses and events taking place in November:

(1)    Economic Crime Division Update

Join us for the next session on our popular Compliance CPD series to hear a representative from the Economic Crime Division will provide an update on the challenges that they face in tackling money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing. 

Cost: £45

Date: 7 November 2019

Venue: GTA University Centre

Times: 12.30 to 13.30

Further details and registration here.


(2)    Company Law and Administration – Intermediate Course

This full day course is an ideal next step for those with some knowledge of Guernsey company law and administration who wish to develop their knowledge further.  The tutor will look at the more complicated corporate structures commonly seen in Guernsey like limited partnerships and cell companies as well as giving some guidance on the company law and administration regime in BVI.

Cost: £275

Date: 13 November 2019

Venue: GTA University Centre

Times: 09.30 to 16.00

Further details and registration here.


(3)    Introduction to Economic Substance Requirements

This short course aims to provide delegates with an introduction to the Economic Substance Requirements implemented in Guernsey.  Delegates will get a broad overview of the new requirements, terminology and some practical guidance to ensure that they are implementing proper practice.

Cost: £99

Date: 22 November 2019

Venue: GTA University Centre

Times: 09.00 to 10.30

Further details and registration here.


(4)    Excellence in Customer Service

This one day course will help delegates understand the importance of providing excellent customer service and the impact that this can have on their organisation.  Develop new skills to assist in increasing customer satisfaction through improved communication which, in turn, should lead to the acquisition of new customers, retention of existing customers and customer loyalty.

Cost: £275

Date: 22 November 2019

Venue: GTA University Centre

Times: 09.00 to 17.00

Further details and registration here.


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BPP Guernsey Events

BPP would like to offer GAT members a 10% discount on the following Guernsey based events:-

4th Annual Compliance & Economic Crime Symposium - 12 November 2019

The definitive compliance and financial crime prevention event of the year,

The universe of financial crime continues to expand. The 4th Annual Financial Crime Prevention Symposium explores some of the key issues facing Guernsey’s financial services industry.

More details and/or to book  

8th Annual Business and Finance Conference - 10th December 2019

BPP’s 8th Annual Business and Finance Conference is aimed at accountants and finance professionals across a range of industries, providing a variety of relevant updates from industry experts to help meet your continuing professional development needs.

More details and/or to book


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
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Cyber Security in the Boardroom

It is impossible to ignore the risks of a cyber-attack.  Whilst some believed only large corporations were at risk, and they are the ones when attacked that hit the headlines, any organisation is at risk.  Cyber criminals do not just target large companies.  They write code that continuously searches the internet for any sites that may have a weakness.  The code can then perform an attack without the criminal having to do anything – all automated.  The result can be encrypted files with a ransom demand, loss of client data, funds transferred to a malicious account and much more.

Your business and your reputation is at risk.

Read full article
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Personal liability – A ‘fine’ mess

Regulators around the world are increasingly focusing on personal accountability, and the Channel Islands regulators are no different. With increased regulatory focus, the onus is on the individual to ensure they have taken ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent regulatory breaches.

Demonstrating and evidencing these ‘reasonable steps’, in a time of ever-growing regulatory requirements, is not a straightforward exercise. Do you worry about your firm’s compliance and corporate governance? Do you find the concept of personal liability daunting?

Does it keep you awake at night? You are not alone!

Download Briefing
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Carey Olsen wins prestigious Chambers High Net Worth Award 2019

Carey Olsen has been named Offshore Firm of the Year at the Chambers High Net Worth Awards.

The awards, which were presented at a ceremony in London yesterday, celebrate legal excellence in the world of private wealth.

Carey Olsen was shortlisted for the award by the legal directory's highly regarded research team following the publication of the 2019 edition of the Chambers and Partners High Net Worth earlier this year. The guide saw Carey Olsen secure a series of top tier rankings and the firm described by sources as the 'the first name we think of for trust and fiduciary providers from the private client side' and how 'for HNW clients, they cover a lot of bases – they put their clients first and are very responsive'.

Read the firm's comments below.

Full article
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Trustees to exercise caution over reliance on 'Anti-Bartlett' clauses

Carey Olsen's Guernsey trusts conference urges caution over reliance on 'Anti-Bartlett' clauses.

'Anti-Bartlett' clauses remain a useful tool in trust structuring but should not be seen as providing infallible protection for trustees, according to Carey Olsen trusts and private wealth partner Natasha Kapp.

Speaking at the firm's Guernsey autumn trust conference, Natasha referenced the recent Hong Kong Court of Appeal decision in Zhang Hong Li and others v DBS (Hong Kong) Ltd and others, which held a professional trustee was in breach of trust in failing to intervene in an underlying company's investment decisions despite the incorporation of 'anti-Bartlett' provisions in the trust instrument.

Read on

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