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IMF endorses Gibraltar financial regulation

19 Mar 02

Gibraltar's financial services regulation is given a positive endorsement by the International Monetary Fund in a wide-ranging report that has just been published. Gibraltar is the third jurisdiction to volunteer for this kind of rigorous international examination by independent experts. In May 2001, following an invitation from the Gibraltar Government, the IMF carried out an assessment of the extent to which Gibraltar's supervisory arrangements for the financial sector complied with internationally accepted standards. The process of thorough and impartial external assessment against international standards is one that Gibraltar welcomes.

The IMF has noted that Gibraltar "is at the forefront of the development of good practices." It has further stated: "It is worth noting that Gibraltar was one of the first jurisdictions to have introduced regulation and supervision of the company and trust services business."

The IMF concluded that Gibraltar's regulator, the Financial Services Commission, "carries out its duties diligently and has an intimate knowledge of the institutions under its supervision… The results of our assessments indicated that supervision is generally effective and thorough and that Gibraltar ranks as a well-developed supervisor." The regulatory regime across the industry meets most international standards and accords with best practice.

A copy of the Exective Summary included in the IMF report is attached to this Press Statement. The full report is available on the FSC's website ( and the Government's website (

The Minister with responsibility for financial services, Keith Azopardi, said:

"This positive assessment by the IMF is yet another endorsement of the high international standards achieved by Gibraltar's financial services sector. We are delighted that following classification by the Financial Action Task Force as a co-operative jurisdiction in June 2000, and the granting by the US Internal Revenue Service of Qualified Intermediary status in October 2000, Gibraltar has again been given another clean bill of health by an important international body." The report is yet further evidence of the Government's success in repositioning our finance centre amongst the most reputable in the world.

Martin Fuggle, the Chairman and Commissioner of the FSC, said:

"I welcome the report's conclusion that we carry out our duties diligently, and that we have an intimate knowledge of the institutions under our supervision. An independent team of expert assessors confirms what we believed had been achieved by the FSC through continuous effort over a period of years. We are addressing the comparatively few areas where the team have suggested improvements. For example, we have recruited extra staff to undertake a greater degree of on-site supervision of regulated firms, in line with recent international developments and expectations."

Notes for Editors:

Note for editors A nine-strong team from the IMF spent two weeks on the Rock in the summer of 2001 assessing the full range of regulated financial services against international standards. This forms part of the programme of assessments approved by the Executive Board of the IMF in July 2000, as outlined in the paper "Offshore Financial Centres - the Role of the IMF". The purpose of the exercise was to assess the extent to which Gibraltar complies with internationally accepted standards in financial regulation. In essence, a Module 2 exercise comprises assessments of the supervision of the banking sector according to Basle Core Principles, of the insurance sector based on IAIS (International Association of Insurance Supervisors) principles, of the investment and securities business based on (IOSCO) principles, and of the trust and company management sector.