The central supervisory body for the financial markets of the European Union (EU), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), has approved bilateral agreements to be signed with the Guernsey financial services regulator, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC).
ESMA has announced that it has approved Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) between securities regulators from the 27 EU Member States, Croatia and the wider European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) - on behalf of which it was negotiating - and 34 third-country regulators, including the GFSC.
When the agreements are signed, they will create a formal framework of cooperation on matters of mutual interest between the GFSC and the equivalent bodies in the EU Member States, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Receiving the approval is seen as an important step for Guernsey to be able to retain access to EU markets in view of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) coming into force from 22 July this year.
Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance - the promotional agency for the Island's finance industry, said: "I am extremely pleased that ESMA has approved the cooperation agreements to be signed with Guernsey's regulator. Receiving approval from ESMA for these cooperation agreements means that we have cleared a major hurdle regarding continued access to the EU and the introduction of our dual regime, whereby it will be possible to continue to distribute Guernsey funds into both EU and non-EU countries. Guernsey's position in relation to AIFMD means that the Island will be uniquely placed going forward to continue to be a prime location for the domiciliation and marketing of investment funds."
Guernsey is well down the line of amending its domestic rules and guidance in relation to funds business falling within the scope of AIFMD and will engage in future consultations in relation to how third country 'passporting status' will operate from July 2015.
For more information about Guernsey's finance industry please visit www.guernseyfinance.com.
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