The GFSC is consulting on its proposed update to the pre-applications process.
We are looking to streamline the way we process pre-applications and introduce a more structured and transparent model that will enhance our speed to market. This consultation marks the first stage of our overall Authorisations review ahead of a more comprehensive review of how we process and consider applications for authorisation.
The updated pre-application process provides further clarification on the stages of the current pre-application process and divides this into two parts – an introductory meeting and a feedback meeting. We have also set out what we expect to see in an abridged business plan – in order to help a potential applicant explain to us the proposed business it intends to carry out in Gibraltar.
Before going live with this approach, we wish to actively engage with stakeholders and consult on these enhancements. Our ultimate aim is that, in collaboration with industry, we deliver an updated approach that is clear and works in practice. We are therefore inviting feedback from industry on the proposed approach. If you wish to contribute, please email your feedback to our Business Delivery team at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 16 September 2022.
Please note that this pre-application process does not relate to DLT applicants. Details of the DLT pre-application process can be accessed here.
Our pre-application process is designed to help applicants understand our approach to authorisation and provide an opportunity to discuss with us the proposed business model and its viability.
We strongly recommend following the pre-application process as we have seen the benefits it provides to our applicants and in the quality of applications submitted. Furthermore, this process allows us to identify early on any concerns and avoids applicants submitting a full application (with the corresponding application fee) that is unlikely to be successful.
The process provides an opportunity for us to:
- take you through how we handle and process applications.
- answer any questions and understand your business model prior to submitting your application with the corresponding application fee.
- discuss any regulatory concerns, thus allowing these to be addressed prior to applying and avoiding unnecessary processing delays.
The process starts with an initial introductory meeting, followed by the submission of an abridged business plan, and concludes with a second meeting where we provide our feedback and answer any subsequent questions or concerns.
How do I initiate the process?
If you are looking to seek authorisation to carry out financial services in Gibraltar and have already determined how you will do so, please contact us to arrange an initial meeting.
To request a pre-application meeting, please send an email to email@example.com, including in the subject field: ‘Name of Applicant – Pre-Application’, with the following information:
- name, e-mail, telephone number and address of contact
- your availability (dates that are convenient to hold the meeting)
- details of individuals attending, and in what capacity
- whether the applicant is working towards any specific timelines for the application
- types of regulated activities the applicant intends to carry out. So that we ensure the appropriate individuals attend from the GFSC.
We will then contact you to arrange a meeting and let you know whether we need any further information, ahead of the meeting.
Please note that we can facilitate video/conference calls if this is preferred to face-to-face meetings.
The initial meeting - Introductory Meeting
During the meeting we will take you through our application process and answer any questions you have. We will also discuss and understand what business you intend to carry out and how. To do this, please come prepared to be able to discuss the following:
- background information and rationale for establishing in Gibraltar
- an overview of the regulated activities that will be carried out (including details of any USP.)
- brief description of the products to be offered and customer categorisation
- proposed governance structure
- proposed capital level and funding structure as well as compliance with sector specific ratios (at authorisation date and years 1-3 post authorisation).
- group structure and transactions with connected parties
- any additional points we have asked you to consider (as advised when scheduling the Introductory Meeting).
We would be happy for you to deliver a presentation to provide us with the above information if this is easier for you.
After the Introductory Meeting you will be invited to submit an abridged business plan, incorporating any feedback we have provided to date.
Once we have received the abridged business plan, we will arrange a follow-up meeting to discuss the abridged business plan and to provide you with feedback. This meeting will take place within 4 weeks of us receiving your abridged business plan, however where possible we will endeavour to revert sooner.
What does the Abridged Business Plan have to include?
The abridged business plan should include information on the applicant’s business strategy, corporate governance arrangements, group structure (if applicable) and details of capital and sources of funding.
To assist you in completing an abridged business plan we have developed a checklist that sets out the information to include for each of the identified areas. For credit institutions and insurance companies please use the respective sector abridged business plan checklist.
Depending on the type of business/services to be carried out, we may also require more sector specific information to be included in the abridged business plan. If this is the case, this will be communicated when we arrange the follow-up meeting.
This meeting will be attended by relevant GFSC staff from the team that will be processing your future application for authorisation.
In this meeting we will provide you with feedback on the proposed business model, based on our reading of the abridged business plan submitted, and seek to understand how the firm will be governed and the viability of the business model. We will also raise any regulatory concerns that we have identified and discuss what action or next steps are needed.
Please note that we expect that any feedback we provide during the pre-application process is addressed in any application submitted for authorisation. Addressing our feedback should assist in submitting as complete an application as possible, therefore minimising any potential future delays when processing the application.
Please note that feedback given in pre-application meetings should not be seen as an indicator of any final decision by the GFSC which will only be reached after an assessment of the full detailed application.
We are not able to make business assessments on behalf of applicants, nor are we able to provide advice regarding applications or the criteria for regulated activity. As such, it is up to the applicant to ensure that its propositions and supporting documentation are as comprehensive and as well thought through as possible.
The applicant is at all times responsible for ensuring that it acts in accordance with legislative requirements, and should the applicant wish to have a position clarified at any stage, we recommend that it seeks independent advice.
Abridged Business Plan Checklists
Please find below the relevant Abridged Business Plan Checklists: