Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Offshore Group of Banking Supervisors Extends its Role and Rebrands

The Offshore Group of Banking Supervisors has decided to rebrand itself the 'Group of International Finance Centre Supervisors’ (GIFCS). This decision followed the broadening of the role of the Group as a representative on behalf of numerous offshore financial centres in issues related to financial sector regulation standards. According to GIFCS chairman Colin Powell, the change has been made to reflect more accurately the current scope of the Group's activities.

Powell also said, “When the OGBS was formed in 1980, through the initiative of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, its mandate was limited to banking supervision. With the passage of time the Group has been increasingly recognized by relevant international organizations as a representative body that is also making a valuable contribution to combating money laundering/terrorism financing, the regulation of trust and company service providers, and most recently the regulation of hedge funds.

The GIFCS has observer status with the FATF on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, it also has a close working relationship with the Basel Committee. The Group plays active role in promoting compliance with international standards.

In 2002 the Group of International Finance Centre Supervisors published a best practice paper of trust and company service providers. Recently it has produced a paper on hedge fund regulation, and has sought to establish a working relationship with International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

Beside the British Virgin Islands, the members of the GIFCS are Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Labuan, Macau China, Mauritius, Panama, Samoa, Vanuatu and the Central Bank of Curacao and Saint Maarten. The new member jurisdictions are included in the Group if they meet certain conditions relating to their commitment to the relevant international standards.

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