Guernsey seeks to regulatory certainty on application of electronic CDD

Guernsey seeks to regulatory certainty on application of electronic CDD

Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) this morning outlined an approach to provide greater regulatory reassurance in the application of electronic customer due diligence (CDD).

Speaking at a Guernsey Finance seminar in London today showcasing Guernsey's leadership in application of technology in financial services with the introduction of the Electronic Agents Ordinance 2019, Emma Bailey, director of authorisations and innovation at the GFSC said: "The GFSC has always been supportive of the safe secure exploitation of technology.

"We are happy to work with all stakeholders to look to develop an approach that creates greater certainty for providers deploying electronic AML. The introduction of a revised AML handbook provides a welcome opportunity for us to make clear our commitment to ex ante discussions over the deployment of technology in the AML process."

The GFSC published a new anti-money laundering handbook late last year which offers an opportunity for the island to provide clarity and confidence in the supportive nature of the regulatory regime to encourage greater market-based provision.

Andy Sloan, deputy chief executive, strategy, at Guernsey Finance, said that the development was to be welcomed.

"Certainty, clarity and confidence of the regulatory approach are key for the application of technology and key to its widespread adoption. It is great to see, among other things, the GFSC helping to create these conditions to support the widespread adoption of technology-based AML solutions in Guernsey," he said.

Market-based approach
"Our strategy is to support a market-based approach to the application of technology in the AML arena.  We are fortunate to be home to some of the market's leaders in the provision of technology-based AML services to funds and fiduciary sectors.

"It's a point possibly under-appreciated, but Guernsey has been open to the exploitation of technology in financial services, and has many examples of excellence, including the world's first commercial deployment of blockchain in private equity market by Northern Trust, the market-based provision of electronic CDD services from The ID Register, and the world's first listing on a regulated exchange of notes digitised on a blockchain by Solidum Re."

Also at the seminar in London, lawyer Stephen Ozanne, Senior Associate at Walkers, provided a briefing on the impact and potential of the island's recently-lodged "smart contracts" and "electronic agents" legislation.

The lodging of the Electronic Transactions (Electronic Agents) (Guernsey), 2019, Ordinance earlier this month in the island offers greater certainty as the use of artificial intelligence and distributed ledger technology grows. It will boost confidence and enable adopters of technology solutions to use Guernsey.

The laws of most jurisdictions do not yet explicitly address electronic agents. Guernsey's move is being seen as an important development in progressing the island's digital ambitions, and positioning Guernsey law as the international law of choice for commercial contracts for those seeking to use smart contract technology.

Author spotlight

Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.