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Editorial Comment
Spotlight on MONEYVAL
Viewers of the BBC fact-based drama series, McMafia, might well be acquainted with the way financial crime, money laundering and terrorist financing have become a worldwide issue, so will have a sense of why Gibraltar is putting such great effort into making sure it has fully adopted identification and preventive measures.
Nearly two decades after Gibraltar first sought to become in its own right, part of MONEYVAL, the international anti money laundering and financing of terrorism compliance body, it was finally successful in 2015. Now the territory’s systems and state of preparedness to combat those threats are to be closely evaluated and that presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate how the jurisdiction fares against the relevant international standards.
Potentially any finance centre can be exposed to bribery, corruption, fraud and market abuse, but for Gibraltar it is “imperative” that a positive outcome is achieved from the MONEVAL evaluation in the first quarter of next year and the resulting report six months later.
The planned external, in-depth examination of the territory’s preparedness, understanding and implementation of measures to identify and mitigate financial crime involves not just State departments, regulatory bodies – covering financial services and eGaming (both accounting for around half of the jurisdiction’s GDP) and the Office of Fair Trading – but also a host of private sector intermediaries.
It is welcome reassurance that all that can be done in Gibraltar is being done, but also because it will give added weight to this small territory’s claim to be a significant player on the world stage. The Gibraltar Financial Services Commission sees it as boosting its credentials and, according to chief executive Samantha Barrass, recently, she is “already detecting a growing confidence on the part of our counterparts in the UK and Europe” in Gibraltar as a strong international regulator in the context of Brexit and beyond.
Although she says there is “no competition between regulators” as they work together to set and administer standards, in the private sector competition is key and as a result there are going to be trading tensions, just as is being experienced now in Gibraltar’s telecommunications sector. The battle over broadband packages that feature telephone, but also TV services the supply of which may, or may not, be fully kosher, is symptomatic of a market that is small and growing very little - just about everyone already is being supplied.
The telecoms regulator is charged with promoting competition, but with no power to make it happen. By far the largest supplier of services, Gibtelecom (Gibtel), has for three years been 100% State-owned, which may or may not result in special treatment, and there is the potential for discontent.
Privatising Gibtel may be advisable (much as the UK divested itself of BT), or reducing State interest to less than 50%. The government instead could distance itself by not being directly Gibtel Board members, much as in Jersey or Singapore, for example.
Ray Spencer
Published by Gibraltar International Publications Ltd. 21 Bell Lane PMB 104, PO Box 561 Gibraltar, GX11 1AA
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4	Gibraltar International
DLT Regulations come into force
Gibraltar at the forefront once again
Feb/March/April 2018
Volume 24/Number 1
Gaming	p16
p6	Can diversity in eGaming become a safe bet? Profile	p20
p8	Close family encounters help ensure law firm’s progress Investment	p24
Banking	p10
Another lap
Telecoms	p12
Broadband competition – phenomenally good for business
The route to the Capital Markets for small companies
Banking	p26
Gibraltar Bankers’ Association (GBA)
Business round up	p29

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