Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency on behalf of the island's financial services industry – has welcomed the publication of a new code of practice for local Qualifying Recognized Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) providers as demonstrating the island's commitment to excellence in pensions.
The promotional body's Chief Executive, Peter Niven announced plans to introduce a code of conduct at a Guernsey QROPS seminar in London during March 2010. Meanwhile, a committee of the Guernsey Association of Pension Providers (GAPP) has been working on the draft code to cover critical areas of QROPS business, and an exposure draft on a new code of practice has now been released on the association's website.
Welcoming the publication, Niven stated: “Since HM Revenue and Customs's introduction of a QROPS regime in 2006, Guernsey has become the leading jurisdiction for providing this product. A key reason is the security and stability that the island offers through its proactive approach to meeting stakeholder expectations.”
“Often codes of conduct are imposed on sectors so it is extremely positive that this one is coming from within the island’s finance industry. It is an ideal way of ensuring a benchmark which will in turn provide advisers and clients with enhanced confidence that we in Guernsey are working to transparent standards.”
The exposure draft has been published as part of a consultation period which runs until February 28, 2011. The draft will be reviewed in light of the comments received and it is intended that that final code will be issued by March 31, 2011.
GAPP covers the majority, if not all, of Guernsey QROPS providers and the creation of the code by its members supports the existing regulatory requirements of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission and the Guernsey Income Tax Office.
As previously announced, adoption of the Code is not mandatory but providers who implement the standards contained therein are to be recognized publicly by GAPP.