Guernsey remains on course for third country passport following positive ESMA recommendation

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the independent European financial regulator, has further recommended Guernsey for a ‘third country’ passport under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).

In its final assessment to the European Commission, Parliament and Council, ESMA stated that there are ‘no significant obstacles regarding investor protection, competition, market disruption and the monitoring of systemic risk impeding the application of the AIFMD passport to Guernsey’. Guernsey is among a group of only five jurisdictions that ESMA has offered unqualified and positive assessments to which includes Canada, Japan, Jersey and Switzerland. Four other jurisdictions, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the US have received qualified positive assessments.

Mariana Enevoldsen, Director of Heritage International Fund Managers commented: "ESMA’s positive assessment demonstrates Guernsey’s standing as a trusted and respected jurisdiction with very high standards and a robust regulatory framework. Furthermore, it strengthens Guernsey’s reputation as a leading fund domicile that can offer a broad range of structuring options in order to meet the requirements of global and European investors. The opt-in AIFMD compliant regulatory regime and, in due course, the third country passport will ensure Guernsey’s continued access to marketing funds in Europe."

Guernsey was one of three jurisdictions included in the first set of advice on the third country passport issued by ESMA in July 2015. ESMA has now published its advice for all 12 jurisdictions against the regulatory frameworks in place and their track record for ensuring effective enforcement. Within three months the Commission should adopt a delegated act specifying the date when the relevant rules become applicable in all Member States and the passport can be extended to third countries.

For more information please read ESMA's advice, published here.

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