Updated Deadlines for Guernsey CFT Assessment and Policy Reviews

Under Guernsey Financial Services Commission's (GFSC) revised Handbook on Countering Financial Crime and Terrorist Financing (the Handbook), which took effect on 31 March 2019, firms were required to take account of the conclusions of Guernsey's (yet to be published) National Risk Assessment (NRA) in undertaking their business risk assessments (BRAs) and reviewing their AML/CFT policies, procedures and controls.

Transitional provisions included in the revised regime allowed firms four months from the date of the NRA's publication – which was previously expected in October – to review their BRAs, and three months thereafter to approve revisions to their policies, procedures and controls.

In light of delays to the publication of the NRA, which is now expected around the end of this year, the GFSC has announced its intention to amend the transitional provisions to allow firms to proceed with their reviews of their BRAs and policies, procedures and controls without at this stage taking account of the NRA. Firms will then need to consider the findings of the NRA when their BRAs and policies, procedures and controls next fall due for review.

The GFSC also noted that Guernsey's Policy and Resources Committee will shortly issue additional guidance on terrorist financing risk, which must now be assessed separately from money laundering risk. Walkers senior counsel Stephen Ozanne said that the additional guidance on terrorist financing risk would be welcomed by regulated businesses as they work to update their risk assessments and related procedures.

Under the GFSC's proposals:

  • Firms will have until the end of February 2020 to revise and obtain Board approval of their business risk assessments
  • They will then have until the end of May 2020 to update and obtain Board approval of their policies, procedures and controls

GUERNSEY
Stephen OzanneSenior CounselT +44 (0)1 481 748 913stephen.ozanne@walkersglobal.com
Adam PickeringAssociateT +44 (0) 1481 748 915adam.pickering@walkersglobal.com