Guernsey

Guernsey financial regulator's funding to be reviewed

The funding of Guernsey's financial regulator will be reviewed after criticisms raised by politicians.

Currently fees paid by the finance industry, which have risen sharply in recent years, pay for the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC).

Criticisms of high wages, rising expenses and high office rental costs came from deputies as the commission's 2012 accounts were discussed.

The GFSC has been approached by the BBC but has yet to respond to the comments.

However, the commission did release a statement which read: "The director general was present throughout the whole States of Deliberation debate this morning. He heard the views of the deputies. The commission will clearly reflect on those views."

'Damage reputation'

Deputy Peter Sherbourne said: "These accounts illustrate the lack of transparency, there are omissions which ring alarm bells with us.

"Why for example are nine salaries over £120,000 not stated, what is there to hide."

Treasury and Resources Minister Gavin St Pier suggested the review due to concerns the GFSC's accounts might not be approved by the States, which is its shareholder.

He said if approval was refused it would "damage Guernsey's international reputation".

The review is due to be completed by September 2014.

It will look at alternative ways of funding the the commission including if it could be directly funded by the States and whether this direct link to government could threaten its independence.

About 40% of Guernsey's economic output is generated directly by the finance industry, which also brings in about £105m in taxes annually.

Two reviews of the GFSC have already been launched this year.

The Commerce and Employment Department started looking into its governance and if the commission needs to be updated in May.

While that review continues, the Scrutiny Committee has suspended its review into the legal framework of the GFSC.

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