The international finance centre of Guernsey in the Channel Islands has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) of the People’s Republic of China.
The agreement between the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) and the CIRC on the Mutual Assistance and Exchange of Information Memorandum is the third insurance MoU struck between Guernsey and China in the last nine months.
According to the GFSC, this agreement will enable a flow of information between the regulators to ensure compliance with the relevant laws in each jurisdiction, thereby promoting the integrity, efficiency and financial soundness of those doing business between the two places.
Director general of the GFSC, William Mason, commented: "I am delighted to have been able to sign this MoU which means that the GFSC now has MoU’s with all of China’s financial services regulators including the China Banking Regulatory Commission and the China Securities Regulatory Commission. As Chinese financial services firms are expanding they are looking for a high quality domicile from which to conduct their international business and the signing of this MoU is symbolic of the openness of Guernsey's insurance sector to Chinese-led business.”
The CIRC’s vice chairman, Wenhui Chen, added: "The MoU between the CIRC and GFSC shows the strong relationship built up by an important jurisdiction from developed countries and another from the emerging markets. I hope the MoU will strengthen the relationship between China and Guernsey especially for the insurance industry and we look forward to cooperation after the signing."
The MoU sets out the guidelines for cooperation which include both supervisory bodies having a specific point of contact for communication between the organisations, the types and timing of requests for information and the respect for a public interest test.
Guernsey Finance chief executive Dominic Wheatley highlighted the wider-reaching value of the MoU.
“The signing has broader, positive implications for the island’s finance sector as it will also provide Chinese insurance companies with an approved conduit for investing into Guernsey funds, once they have obtained a quota from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange,” he said.