Legislative Reform Programme (LRP)
Following on from the passing of Gibraltar’s new Financial Services Act 2019 (the “Act”) in July of last year, the Act has today (15 January 2020) come into effect by way of a Notice of Commencement published in the Gibraltar Government Gazette. In addition, the Act’s accompanying sector-specific LRP Regulations have also been published in the Gazette and come into force today.
The Act, along with the LRP Regulations, comprise the largest ever reform of Gibraltar’s Financial Services legislation and will provide a modern legislative framework for all financial and professional services sectors. The LRP consolidates approximately 90 pieces of legislation within an enhanced, more accessible and modernised structure, which introduces cross-sectoral terminology and powers for the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (“GFSC”) aimed at ensuring consistency all regulated activities.
The LRP Regulations compliment the new structure, concepts and terminology of the Act by consolidating prudential, business conduct and other requirements applicable to each financial services industry within respective sets of regulations. The substantive content of the LRP Regulations has not however been altered unless this was necessary for overall alignment with Act.
The Act also introduces a number of new elements to the financial services framework, such as:
(1) Establishing a Regulated Individuals’ Regime, which permits the GFSC to determine whether those who carry out regulated functions for authorised firms in certain capacities are fit and proper to do so.
(2) Establishing a Financial Services Ombudsman with the function of investigating, facilitating, mediating, and determining solutions to financial service disputes between consumers and authorised firms.
(3) Establishing the Decision Making Committee (the “DMC”) as a statutory committee of the GFSC. The DMC will exercise, on behalf of the GFSC, the GFSC’s powers in respect of specified regulatory decisions.
ISOLAS LLP Partner, Christian Caetano, who specialises in insurance and financial services, has assisted the GFSC on different aspects of the LRP Regulations.
Christian said: “With the LRP now fully coming into effect, we’re keen for our clients to be aware of how this might impact their business, policies and procedures. Once all stakeholders are familiar with the Act and LRP Regulations, we are confident that the new regime will provide clarity for firms, advisers and the GFSC itself, as well as increase the appeal for those thinking of doing business with Gibraltar operators or seeking to establish themselves in Gibraltar. One of our main attractions as a business-friendly jurisdiction has always been speed to market and these reforms will serve to further enhance Gibraltar’s attractiveness as a modern and dynamic finance centre.”
If you would like any more information on the reforms, please contact Christian Caetano on firstname.lastname@example.org