GFSC issues thematic review on beneficial ownership

Posted: 09/05/2019

The Guernsey Financial Services Commission has issued its report on the thematic review of beneficial ownership of Guernsey and Alderney legal persons managed or administered by fiduciary licensees. The review was undertaken during the latter part of 2018 and the early part of 2019.

An estimated 3,000 data sets were received and analysed, including from a questionnaire sent to all full and personal fiduciary licensees. 

Beneficial ownership records of almost 400 Guernsey and Alderney legal persons were examined during onsite visits assessing the accuracy of these fiduciary licensees’ beneficial ownership records and of the information which had been submitted to the Register of beneficial ownership. 

Further, a sample of these cases were cross-checked by the Commission with records held on the Register of beneficial ownership.

In all files reviewed by the Commission, all fiduciary licensees had accurately identified and verified the beneficial owner of the legal person in compliance with their responsibilities under the anti-money laundering/combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regulations. 

The evidence gathered in response to the thematic review demonstrates effective controls to ensure that accurate and up to date beneficial ownership information is available and accessible to the Competent Authorities.

The results from the thematic review reflect the strong framework in the bailiwick for AML/CFT, which has long required financial firms including fiduciary licensees to accurately identify their clients, including beneficial owners, and be subject to longstanding supervision by the Commission. 

The thematic findings follow on from the endorsement of the effectiveness of the framework by MONEYVAL1 in its report of the evaluation of Guernsey issued in January 2016 and by the OECD Global Forum2 in its review last year.

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