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ST. PETER PORT, Guernsey The Guernsey Financial Services Commission wants to extend its enforcement powers over insurers, managers and intermediaries to be able to levy financial penalties and tighten requirements for who can operate those companies.
The commission is seeking public comment until May 18 on the proposals that would also apply to banks and other financial institutions in Guernsey.
A consultation paper outlining the proposed statutory changes says the changes would bring Guernsey closer to the regulatory models of the Financial Services Authority in the United Kingdom and such regulatory bodies in Jersey and Isle of Man.
In severe cases, the Guernsey commission wants to be able to levy fines of up to £200,000 ($400,781) against companies who breach licensing regulations. Smaller administrative fines could also be levied for less serious infractions.
The commission also proposes, among other changes in the 52-page document, requirements for those who wish to be a "director, controller, partner, manager or authorized insurance representative" of a regulated company. Under the proposed rules, such applicants would be more closely scrutinized to make sure they have not run afoul of the jurisdiction's terrorism and crime statutes, disclosure law, regulations regarding transfers of funds or any European Community or United Nations legislation applicable in Guernsey.
The commission also wants to require that individuals directing a company not be close relatives and boards of directors be made up of a number of company executives and non-executives determined by the commission.
While the commission seeks greater enforcement authority, it also proposes improved rights of appeal for those who are disciplined under its regulations.
And, the commission writes in the proposal that, what it "does not wish to change, however, is the close and constructive working relationship" it has with the finance sector. "The Commission does not envisage that the proposals in this consultation paper would adversely affect that relationship, which it is committed to maintaining," the proposal states.
The consultation paper is at www.gfsc.gg.