Guernsey streamlines application process for fund managers

Guernsey has launched a fast-track system for migrating managers and their investment funds to the jurisdiction.

Guernsey Finance has announced a new fast-track application regime for managers of Overseas Collective Investment Schemes to migrate to the island, making it simpler to apply for a Guernsey license or migrate an existing fund.

The move to bring more managers and funds to the jurisdiction in a fast and easy manner comes after the EU published its list of non-cooperative jurisdictions on February 27, black-listing some competitor jurisdictions, including the Cayman Islands.

The new regime, introduced by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, aims to make it easier to apply for a Guernsey license, with a 10-day review period for both managers’ consent to migrate into the jurisdiction and the licensing process. The 10-day period also applies to the licensing of newly-incorporated Guernsey entities.

The new manager regime will join the Commission’s suite of fast-track application regimes that cater specifically to registered funds and private investment funds, with applications based on declarations from a licensed administrator.

Rupert Pleasant, chief executive of Guernsey Finance, touted the island’s economic substance, which forms the basis for its white-list status with the EU and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, as setting it apart from other jurisdictions that provide off-shore tax services.

“Guernsey has always had genuine substance in financial services,” he said. “Our white-listed position genuinely sets up apart from other jurisdictions which have not met these criteria, and we will continue to build on this position of strength.”

But Guernsey’s position as white-listed may be tenuous, as the jurisdiction remains on the Netherlands’ tax black list. The EU’s list on non-cooperative tax jurisdictions is expected to be updated in October 2020.