You'll see in this news release by the Guernsey Financial
Services Commission the latest in a number of changes to impact
industry following the overhaul of the Commission since the
appointment of the new Director General just under 18 months
The news is that the Commission has appointed a panel of
Queen's Counsel (QCs/Silks) to sit as 'Senior Decision
Makers' to determine the outcome of the Commission's
enforcement cases going forward.
Like many decisions that are presented as a fait accompli, it
raises as many questions as presents answers.
On the upside, it brings to the Commission a degree of
independence that has been sought for a number of years now and
will hopefully remove any appearance of an un-level playing field
and bring a fresh pair of eyes to any enforcement action being
It's no secret - Silks don't
come cheap, how are their costs going to be met?
How much work is the Commission
expecting to generate for these experts over the coming years?
Enforcement cases were previously
heard by three Commissioners sitting as the 'Decision
Committee'. Now, one QC will be appointed to hear the cases and
determine the most appropriate penalties. Does that allow for
appropriate balances, checks and controls?
Do these English QCs really
understand the quirks and particularities of Guernsey financial
services businesses and the realities of conducting business within
the Bailiwick? And if so, can this 'Senior Decision Maker'
function be outsources by the Commission, without local
No doubt many of the answers to these questions will become
clear over time.
And finally, let's hope you're not on the receiving end
of having to welcome any one of these eminent experts to the
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