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Financial Crime Bureau continues to grow as States approve legal powers

Financial Crime Bureau continues to grow as States approve legal powers

Friday 28 January 2022

Financial Crime Bureau continues to grow as States approve legal powers

Friday 28 January 2022


The Director of Guernsey's new Economic and Financial Crime Bureau - which is expected to cost nearly £4million to run in 2022 - should soon have extensive legal powers as a statutory official within the island's machinery of government.

At their meeting this week, the States' Assembly approved the necessary legislation, which will now be sent for Royal Sanction and then come into effect on a date to be set by the States.

The Bureau was established last year and the Committee for Home Affairs appointed Kevin Davis as its first Director. 

Deputy Rob Prow

Pictured: Deputy Rob Prow, President of the Committee for Home Affairs, led the new financial crime legislation through the States' Assembly. 

Presenting the draft law to the States, the President of the Committee, Deputy Rob Prow, said: “In November last year, this Assembly overwhelmingly supported the proposals to introduce legislation to create a statutory office of the Economic and Financial Crime Bureau, and to provide the legislative framework for the Financial Intelligence Unit.

“The structure and functions of the Bureau and the Financial Intelligence Unit have been revised and redesigned by the director of the [Bureau] to enable both bodies to strengthen Guernsey’s response to investigate financial crime and to improve the recovery of unlawfully derived assets housed in this and other jurisdictions.

“The work of the Bureau will also demonstrate to MoneyVAL that Guernsey is committed to enhancing its posture against the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.”

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Pictured: The proposal to set up the Office of the Director of the Economic and Financial Crime Bureau was approved by the States without dissent. 

The Bureau was created as part of the island's preparations for a key inspection by MoneyVAL in 2023. MoneyVAL is an international body which assess compliance with standards for combatting financial crime. 

During a public hearing hosted in June last year by the Scrutiny Management Committee, the Committee for Home Affairs revealed that the new Bureau would require 50 specialist staff.

Dave Le Ray, the Committee's Director of Operations, Justice and Regulation, yesterday told Express that the Bureau is more than halfway through filling those posts.

“As of December 2021, the Bureau had 18 full-time employees with a further 15 employees working within the Financial Intelligence Unit,” said Mr Le Ray.

“The Bureau is currently recruiting for in-house lawyers and later this year further economic crime investigators.”

The Bureau has been allocated a budget of £3.8million for this year. 

Financial_Crime.jpg

Pictured: Guernsey is investing millions of pounds in preparation for an inspection next year by an international body which promotes and assesses measures to combat financial crime. 

"The focus of the forthcoming evaluation is to assess the effectiveness of our anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism systems, measured against eleven sets of analyses and effectiveness ratings known as immediate outcomes,” said Mr Le Ray.

“Whilst Guernsey fared well in the previous MONEYVAL evaluation, the international benchmarks and expectations have changed and Guernsey needs to continue to rise to the new challenges posed by this international standard setter.

“The evaluation will, amongst other areas, shine a spotlight on the efficacy of our financial intelligence systems, our operational responses to money laundering in terms of the quantum and quality of investigations and prosecutions, and the confiscation of the proceeds of crime.  

“The establishment of the Bureau is a direct response to an identified need to significantly strengthen Guernsey’s response to investigate financial crime.”

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