The Economic & Financial Crime Bureau and Financial Intelligence Unit Law 2022 has now come into force, meaning the organisation is a legally independent and autonomous law enforcement authority.
The new Law establishes the Office of the Director of the Economic & Financial Crime Bureau (EFCB) and clarifies the role and the functions of both the Bureau and the Financial Intelligence Unit to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing.
The EFCB was established in June 2021 by the Committee for Home Affairs and approved by the States of Guernsey to strengthen the island’s response to financial crime. The FIU, formerly part of Bailiwick Law Enforcement, now falls under the umbrella of the EFCB though retains its operational independence.
Deputy Rob Prow, President of the Committee for Home Affairs, said: “In 2024, Guernsey will be evaluated once again by MoneyVal. This inspection will for the first time assess the effectiveness of our AML/CFT systems and the measures that we as an island take to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing. We have for some time been preparing for this evaluation to ensure that our response to financial crime reflects modern practices and we are fully supportive of the EFCB and its Director in the measures they are taking.
“This is not just about the inspection, however. We are always looking at ways to strengthen our defences against financial wrong-doing and the creation of the Bureau was the natural next-step for us to take.”
The EFCB has been operating successfully since June 2021 under administrative provisions, however the new Law provides clarity around its role and functions.
Kevin Davis, the Director of the Economic & Financial Crime Bureau said: “The Bureau’s new legal status is a very important milestone in our continuing work to strengthen the Bailiwick’s stance against money laundering and terrorist financing.
“This new Law sets out and clarifies the Bureau’s responsibilities as the designated investigative authority, and the FIU’s role as the competent authority to deal with suspicious activity reports, for tackling these crimes and in this regard fulfils the Bailiwick’s compliance obligations under international standards. Crucially, it makes provision for accessing a wide range of investigative powers and legal remedies that are vital if we are to successfully respond to the financial risks and threats faced by the Bailiwick.
“These risks are set out in Guernsey’s National Risk Assessment on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing and countering these in a proactive way is a crucial component in helping to maintain Guernsey’s reputation as an international finance centre and forms part of a wider jurisdictional approach to demonstrate effective compliance with international standards for which we will be adjudged by Moneyval in 2024.”