Guernsey’s Financial Services Commission plans to increase licence fees paid by firms from 1st January 2023 by 8.0% with the agreement of the Policy & Resources Committee.
On 20th July 2022, the Commission issued a consultation paper on the fee rates and administrative penalties to apply from 1st January 2023, which contained the following proposals:
- an overall proposed increase in fees of 9%;
- application and annual fees in respect of our increased responsibilities for firms licensed under the Lending, Credit and Finance legislative framework;
- fees for consent requests to incorporate a non-regulated Protected Cell Company or Incorporated Cell Company;
- fast track fees for additional elements to open-ended fast track funds;
- updates to the returns in scope of late filing penalties; and
- the creation of an explicit administrative penalty regime for returns submitted to the Commission that are materially inaccurate.
The consultation period ran for eight weeks, until 14th September 2022 and the Commission’s response to the feedback received as part of the consultation is available on their website.
The Commission decided to proceed with a lower fee increase of 8%, rather than the 9% on which it had consulted because of the success which it has had over the past few months in recovering more of enforcement costs through the collection of the fines made under the enhanced fining powers granted to it by the States of Guernsey in 2017. The fact that they have been able, over the last twelve months, to recover more of their enforcement costs through fines, means that vast majority of firms which work hard to comply with the Bailiwick’s laws do not need to have their fees increased so much. De facto, they are receiving a rebate as a result of the Commission’s success collecting recent enforcement fines.
Speaking about the proposals, the Commission’s Chairman, Julian Winser (pictured), said: “We have carefully considered the feedback received. We understand that all businesses are, like us, dealing with the worst inflationary environment for more than thirty years. Skilled regulators applying our laws sensibly are vital if the Bailiwick is to ensure a good outcome from MoneyVal. This means, as ever, we need to retain and recruit the talented staff necessary to authorise, supervise and investigate firms in a highly competitive market. This requires this fee increase.”
The Commission intends to issue invoices for annual fees on 3rd January 2023. An FAQ on what to expect from the annual fee process, including what licensees should do to ensure they receive their invoices in a timely manner, is available on the Commission’s website.