Guernsey hosts Major Anti-Corruption Conference

Guernsey’s latest conference, titled ‘Puppet Masters’, was organised by the jurisdiction’s Anti-Bribery and Corruption Committee. It included an examination of legal structures and entities used in a number of corruption cases, on the back of a report on the matter from the World Bank.

Over 450 delegates attended this event. Among them, many international and local speakers presented at the conference. Domestic speakers included Guernsey organisers, the Law Officers’ Chambers, the Guernsey Border Agency and the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC). International speakers included representatives of the World Bank and other experts who have covered subjects such as bribery, corruption, politically exposed persons, sanctions, international standards, criminal and civil law issues, and the practical effects of these on companies and individuals.

The Authority organised this conference with a view to provide industry with a deeper understanding of the wider impact of corruption, and increase awareness of corruption issues within the finance industry of Guernsey. The GFSC will soon issue new anti-corruption guidance for consultation on the back of areas discussed.

Nik van Leuven, Director General of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, said: “The theft of public assets from the Third World is an immense problem, with a staggering impact. In more advanced economies, bribery and corruption are, but not infrequently, understood to be the usual way of life and commerce. The consequences for jurisdictions such as Guernsey should not be underestimated. The corrupt and their agents require financial facilities. It is therefore important for all jurisdictions with a significant finance industry to actively counter corruption.”

Mark de Garis, Assistant Chief Officer, Head of Cross Border Crime, Guernsey Border Agency added that the event provided a good opportunity to better define the escalating risk that local financial services face from overseas bribery and corruption and what can be done to help prevent or mitigate it. He noted: “It was extremely pleasing to see the conference so well attended, which in turn demonstrates how seriously financial services businesses treat this risk.”

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