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Non-Guernsey scheme rules to be revoked

Chris Hamblin, Editor, London, 12 December 2020

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The Guernsey Financial Services Commission is proposing to revoke the Licensees (Conduct of Business and Notification)(Non-Guernsey Schemes) Rules 1994 in their entirety.

A Non-Guernsey Scheme is a collective investment scheme that is not established or incorporated in the Bailiwick of Guernsey and is not authorised or registered by the GFSC. The Protection of Investors (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 1987 permits ‘Protection of Investors’ or PoI licensees to act for Non-Guernsey Schemes without prior approval if they are authorised in Jersey, the Isle of Man, the United Kingdom or Ireland.

Today, the rules require PoI licensees that intend to carry out one of the restricted activities of management, administration or custody in connection with a relevant Non-Guernsey scheme to beg approval (on behalf of every relevant scheme in every case) from the regulator before doing them. Relevant schemes, in regulatory parlance, are "schemes within scope of notification under the Non-Guernsey Scheme Rules."

So far, the regulator has approved PoI licensees acting for Relevant Schemes 66 times. The schemes in question had assets of £37 billion all told. (The total net asset value of Guernsey-domiciled open-ended funds, meanwhile, is £48 billion.) Comments to the consultative paper on the subject ought to be in by 27 January.

Data collection

The regulator is minded to revoke the rules but also makes vague mention of a desire to "introduce amended data collection requirements." It writes: "In order to simplify the requirements and to ensure the commission has an accurate and complete picture of assets serviced by PoI licensees, it is proposed that the licensee’s Annual Accounts and Annual Return online portal form be amended to request the following data from all PoI licensees. The data will be requested in respect of restricted activities carried out in respect of any open- or closed-ended overseas  collective investment scheme not authorised or registered under the PoI Law."

The regulator expects this data - submitted in redesigned annual returns - to cover the total number of Non-Guernsey schemes, total assets under management, the net asset value or NAV for each fund, the asset type of each fund and the investor type of each fund, although it plans to wait a fair time before publishing further details.

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