GW Offshore supervisory group changes name

After 31 years, the Offshore Group of Banking Supervisors (OGBS) has changed its name to the Group of International Finance Centre Supervisors (GIFCS).

Established in 1980 by the Basel Committee, OGBS was originally set up with a mandate for banking supervision.

Colin Powell, Chairman of the Group now called GIFCS said “the change has been made to reflect more accurately the current scope of the Group’s activities.”

Over time, the Group’s role has expanded to include combating money laundering and terrorism financing, the regulation of trust and company service providers, and most recently the regulation of hedge funds, alongside its original banking supervision mandate, he said.

The Group has observer status with the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, and has a close working relationship with the Basel Committee. It acts to promote compliance with and the setting of relevant international standards.

In 2002, it issued a best practice paper on trust and company service providers and has worked to promote the adoption of global best practices.
Recently, it produced a paper on hedge fund regulation and sought to establish a working relationship with IOSCO.

Members of the Group include Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Labuan, Macau China, Mauritius, Panama, Samoa, Vanuatu and the Central Bank of Curacao and Saint Maarten.

The name change will not affect terms of membership, whereby a jurisdiction has to show commitment to the relevant international standards, said Powell.

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