Tuesday 19 July 2016
Guernsey is one of a group of only five jurisdictions that has received an unqualified and positive assessment from ESMA for the AIFMD passport.
The European Securities and Marketing Authority (ESMA) has confirmed that "there are no significant obstacles impeding the application of the AIFMD passport to Canada, Guernsey, Japan, Jersey and Switzerland".
In July 2015 the European Commission asked ESMA to advise on the application of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) passport to non-EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers and Alternative Investment Funds. ESMA has now published its advice for twelve jurisdictions (US, Guernsey, Jersey, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Switzerland, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, Isle of Man and Japan) against the regulatory frameworks in place, their track record in ensuring effective enforcement. The assessment also reviewed the expected inflows of funds into the EU from all 12 non-EU countries.
Deputy Lyndon Trott, the Vice-President of Guernsey's Policy and Resources Committee with responsibility for international commercial and regulatory issues said:
"I am very pleased that ESMA has confirmed its positive assessment of Guernsey. This demonstrates confidence and trust in our regulatory framework and supervisory practices, and in our track record as a jurisdiction that meets the highest international standards.
"The leadership of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, with the support of industry and government, has again enabled Guernsey to be evaluated as a trusted jurisdiction, and as a jurisdiction that continues to provide a stable and competitive environment for business.
"While there is still a further administrative stage of the process to go through, this is a positive and encouraging development for Guernsey as a centre of excellence for private equity and fund administration. These are businesses that have real substance on the island and form an important part of our economy.
"This positive assessment from ESMA demonstrates our constructive working relationship with EU institutions and bodies when they treat us as a third country."
- The Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), which entered into force on 22 July 2013, introduced an EU marketing passport which was only available to EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM) managing and marketing EU domiciled Alternative Investment Funds (AIF), whereas non-EU domiciled AIFMs remained subject to the national placement regimes (NPPRs) of each Member State.
- ESMA conducted a country-by-country assessment of non-EU jurisdictions to consider whether the AIFMD passport could be applied to non-EU jurisdictions by investigating certain regulatory issues, i.e. investor protection, competition, potential market disruption and the monitoring of systemic risk.
- ESMA published its first advice to the EU Commission in July 2015 after assessing Guernsey against the criteria set out in the directive: investor protection, market disruption, competition and the monitoring of systemic risk. That advice also recommended that there were no significant obstacles to granting the application of the AIFMD passport to Guernsey.
- This second assessment considered, amongst other matters, the capacity of the respective financial services regulators in each of the 12 jurisdictions and their track record of ensuring effective enforcement. ESMA's advice to the EU on the application of the AIFMD passports to non-EU AIFMs and AIFs is available here.