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Guernsey and Swiss regulators sign MoU

31 March 2014

Guernsey's financial services regulator, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) regarding the distribution of investment funds to retail investors.

The MoU facilitates close cooperation between the two authorities and key elements include the exchange of information, cross border on-site visits and assistance in the enforcement of each jurisdiction's laws.

One of the principal reasons for the MoU is that amendments have been made to the Swiss Collective Investment Schemes Act relating to the distribution of foreign funds to retail investors in or from Switzerland. This requires the existence of a MoU between FINMA and the financial services supervisory authority responsible for the foreign funds.

Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance - the promotional agency for the Island's finance industry internationally, said: "The fact that the GFSC has signed this MoU with FINMA means that Guernsey funds can continue to be distributed to retail investors in Switzerland. There are already a number of managers with funds, especially open-ended schemes, which are distributed into Switzerland and this MoU means that Guernsey remains an attractive domicile for those seeking to raise capital from the Swiss market."

The MoU with FINMA provides an effective framework between the two authorities for the exchange of information and other supervisory cooperation related to the distribution of investment funds to retail investors. It will also contribute towards reinforcing investor protection and improving the cross-border distribution of investment funds to retail investors.

Carl Rosumek, Director of Investment Supervision and Policy at the GFSC, said: "I am delighted to confirm that the Commission has signed a cooperation agreement with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. The completion of this agreement is a positive endorsement of the Commission and the important work it undertakes on behalf of Guernsey. The Commission has a very constructive relationship with FINMA and looks forward to working with them in the cross-border supervision of the funds industry."

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