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Press Release - 17 December 2001

Commission Gives Regulatory Overview To Industry

Almost 700 delegates attended two half-day seminars run by the Jersey Financial Services Commission yesterday (12 December) at the Hotel de France.

"The objective of the event was to help businesses into best practice by disseminating information Commission staff have gathered regarding trends in the industry" said Richard Pratt, Director General, who went on to explain "the object of regulation is to codify best practice and ensure any weaker players raise their game to that of the best."

Helen Hatton, the Deputy Director General, introduced the morning session that was aimed at trust company businesses, "The authorisation process arising from the introduction of the Law has been complex and much work is entailed in each evaluation. However, ten months into the new regime we have issued just short of 100 approvals - so we are progressing. In addition we have carried out a substantial number of pre authorisation visits to firms where we needed more information. The process is going well and the next substantial group of licences to be issued will take place in the Spring with a further tranche in August."

Other speakers covered details of the legislation that govern trust company businesses and Gary Godel, the Director of Enforcement explained the Commission's powers of investigation and gave examples of the areas where breakdown of systems or controls have most frequently lead to enforcement actions.

John Pallot, Director of Compliance, introduced the afternoon session aimed at those engaged in investment, funds or banking business. Sharing the findings of his Compliance Team with the delegates, John also pressed businesses to take a leading position in ensuring adequate Customer Due Diligence (CDD). He explained, "A business with a strong CDD platform achieves two crucial aims in one sweep. Firstly a business that truly knows its customer is best placed to deliver excellent advice and the right services: delighted clients generally mean delighted shareholders. Secondly, effective Customer Due Diligence keeps out unsuitable customers and, where somehow they do manage to slip in - which they will from time to time - CDD ensures the records are there for the police or other enforcement agencies to follow. These records are literally your lifeline - they are your "get out of jail" card. It is the records which prove you did all you reasonably could to stop or catch the money launderer - these are your obligations under the Law".

The final speaker Andrew Le Brun, Director of Policy and Legal, offered a swift tour of current international developments. "Jersey is a truly international finance centre and as such operates in the international markets. We must continue to meet international standards", said Andrew, "we do not operate in a vacuum and cannot afford to fall behind the race for excellence."

Richard Pratt closed the seminar thanking delegates for attending. "Today has brought 700 practitioners and a dozen regulators together in partnership, sharing experiences and concerns. We have a vibrant and successful industry in Jersey, lets continue to work together to ensure its continued success as the premier island centre."

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