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Guernsey To Increase Money Laundering Penalties

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
26 January, 2016

Guernsey's Policy Council has proposed an increase to money laundering penalties, with the matter set to be discussed at the next meeting of parliament on January 26.

The changes are in response to a report from the Council of Europe's Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL), which recommended that Guernsey should increase the penalties that can be applied to financial institutions.

Billet D'Etat V of 2016 proposes the following changes:

  • The maximum level of fine available to the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) for licensees and former licensees (other than personal fiduciary licensees) should be increased from the current level of GBP200,000 (USD285,000) to GBP4m, with any fine over GBP300,000 being limited to a maximum of 10 percent of the turnover of the licensee/former licensee in question;
  • The maximum level of fine available for relevant officers (that is, directors and other officers of licensees and former licensees) and personal fiduciary licensees should be increased from GBP200,000 to GBP400,000 with an additional criterion required to be considered by the GFSC being the emoluments arising in respect of the relevant officer's (or personal fiduciary licensee's) position;
  • A power should be included for the Policy Council to make regulations on such matters as it considers appropriate in relation to discretionary penalties. The Policy Council will make regulations only after consultation with the GFSC and the Policy and Finance Committee of the States of Alderney and the Policy and Performance Committee of the Chief Pleas of Sark. It is the intention of the Policy Council to make such regulations;
  • A requirement for the GFSC to issue a policy on how it will apply the Law and the regulations and the enforcement powers referred to in this Policy Letter; and
  • An enabling provision should be introduced so as to enable the provisions in the Law on discretionary penalties to be revised by Ordinance.

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