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Mar 28 - GSD Voices Concern over IOSCO Non-Compliance

gsdOpposition spokesman for Justice, Home Affairs and Financial Services, Selwyn Figueras, is today seeking clarification and assurances from the Government to allay finance industry concerns stemming from Gibraltar's apparent failure to meet its obligations under the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (‘IOSCO’), namely compliance with the Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (‘MMoU’).

“Established in 2002, the MMoU provides a global framework for enforcement co-operation between securities regulators, thereby helping to ensure effective regulation and to preserve the strength of securities markets. Signatories represent approximately 95% of global securities markets, and the IOSCO MMoU is the leading instrument for multi-lateral co-operation in the enforcement of securities regulation. “

Gibraltar currently appears on a list published by IOSCO of current non-signatories and the Opposition notes that, on that list, reference is made to Gibraltar's substantial collaboration so far, further noting that the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (‘FSC’) has submitted legislation to the relevant domestic authority but has not yet notified IOSCO as to when the measures are likely to be implemented. Implementation of legislation is, of course, a matter for the Government of Gibraltar.

Georgina Philippou, Chair of IOSCO Committee 4 on Enforcement and the Exchange of Information and Co-chair of the MMoU Screening Group, has said: “Publishing the list of non-signatories to the MMoU is an important step for IOSCO, and not one we have taken lightly. The MMoU is an essential tool in the fight against cross border market misconduct and IOSCO wants all its members to reach the high standards of enforcement and international cooperation required to sign the MMoU so that those who commit market misconduct have nowhere to hide.” [See press release below].

Selwyn Figueras explained that 'from a review of the relevant sources, it appears that all that’s pending to secure Gibraltar’s removal from the list is the implementation, by Government, of the legislation which it appears to have already received in draft from the FSC.”

“Gibraltar's reputation is its single most important commodity in the context of the finance centre. I am sure that the Government shares that view and, in that context, I would urge the Minister responsible for financial services to prioritise this matter, one which appears effectively to be a formality, to add ‘compliance with the IOSCO MMoU’ to the long list of credentials that make Gibraltar plc the European standard-bearer for regulation of the onshore, specialist finance centre it has become and to preserve the hard-won, international reputation it both merits and deserves. I would also seek clarification from the Government as to why it has failed to meet the implementation deadline (1 January 2013), which has resulted in Gibraltar featuring on the list of non-compliant jurisdictions’.