MONEYVAL publishes positive report on Guernsey’s high standards

15 January 2016

A highly positive report on Guernsey shows that the Island has made major progress in line with the evolving international standards to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

MONEYVAL, a body of the Council of Europe tasked with assessing the measures in place to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism, found that Guernsey had surpassed the standards set in the equivalent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report which assessed Guernsey in 2010.

The MONEYVAL evaluation took place throughout 2014-15 and included an on-island assessment in October 2014.

In addition to substantially strengthening anti-money laundering and combatting the funding of terrorism preventive measures to which its financial institutions are subject, MONEYVAL found that Guernsey has in place a range of measures to facilitate various forms of international cooperation and plays host to competent authorities and financial institutions that are highly competent, knowledgeable and aware of their obligations. Cooperation and coordination between Guernsey authorities was also found to be effective.

Guernsey Finance Chief Executive Dominic Wheatley said: "We are delighted that Guernsey has received this positive assessment from MONEYVAL as it demonstrates the high standards that all firms in Guernsey work to. It is also consistent with how we see Guernsey's leading position within the mainstream of international finance not only in terms of anti-money laundering and the funding of terrorism, but also regulation, beneficial ownership, tax transparency and common reporting standards."

Guernsey Chief Minister Jonathan Le Tocq said the evaluation was 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," said Deputy Le Tocq.

"Meeting the highest international standards helps to sustain our economy by encouraging businesses to come to Guernsey and ensuring stability. It also helps to ensure we cement our reputation as a cooperative and transparent jurisdiction, and one that takes seriously its obligations as a major international finance centre."

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. Guernsey is one of 34 European countries and jurisdictions that are part of the MONEYVAL process.

Commerce and Employment Minister Kevin Stewart said: "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, thanked those in Guernsey's financial services industry who gave their time 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."

Notes to Editors:

The full MONEYVAL report can be viewed here. The executive summary can be viewed here.

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