The Group comprises banking, fiduciary and securities regulators from centres undertaking significant international business. The Group has adopted the following constitution.
1. Unless the context otherwise requires, in this constitution:-
"Chairman" means Chairman of the Group of International Finance Centre Supervisors.
"Group" means the Group of International Finance Centre Supervisors.
"Jurisdiction" means any nation, state, country, territory, province, or geographical area that has its own enforceable laws governing the matters with which the Group of International Centre Supervisors is concerned.
"Member" means a Member of the Group. "Observer" means an Observer of the Group.
"Approval of the Group" means the approval of all the Members of the Group.
Formation and Constitution of the Group
2. The Group was formed in October 1980 as an association of the relevant authorities in jurisdictions concerned with the supervision of banks and related financial services primarily engaged in cross-border activities. The Group changed its name in March 2011 to the Group of International Finance Centre Supervisors, to reflect the wider scope of its activities not only in encouraging the adoption of international regulatory standards across the board, but also the influence which the Group is now bringing to bear on supervisory developments more generally.
Purpose and Objectives of the Group
3. The purpose of the Group is to:-
- Contribute to global financial stability through the support and adoption of international regulatory standards and the promotion of best practice as appropriate
- Apply its collective expertise to participate in change and effectively influence debate and consultation on evolving regulatory standards
- Provide mutual support to each other and a forum for promoting common interests.
The objectives of the Group are to–
a) participate with relevant international organisations in setting, and promoting effective implementation of, international standards for the supervision of financial services and for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction;
b) encourage effective regulatory co-operation between all supervisors, and in particular between parent and host supervisors
c) as part of the global initiative take supervisory measures to facilitate financial stability in member countries, and encourage greater transparency in business flows to and from member countries
d) encourage effective oversight of trust and company service provider business in member countries, in particular through the adoption of the GIFCS Statement of Best Practice for such businesses and carrying out mutual evaluations of members’ compliance therewith
e) enable members to identify and discuss issues of mutual and common interest, and where appropriate to use collective expertise in providing input and contribution as an influence on change
Conditions of Membership
4. The Group has set the following conditions of membership, for initial application and ongoing adherence:-
- A clear commitment to the implementation of all relevant international standards including:-
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's Core Principles;
The Financial Action Task Force's Recommendations to combat money laundering, the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction;
The IOSCO Core Principles;
The IAIS Core Principles;
The GIFCS Standard on TCSP Regulation;
Any other standards which members may wish to adopt.
- Evidence that the necessary legislation and administrative structure to put these commitments into effect is in place or in early prospect;
- Evidence of either a satisfactory track record of translating the commitments into effect or a detailed plan for doing so within a reasonable time frame;
- Evidence that the commitments are entered into with the knowledge and support of the relevant political authority.
Application for Membership
5. Applications by jurisdictions for Membership require:-
- A written submission confirming the jurisdiction's commitment to meet the conditions of Membership, including copies of relevant legislation; and
- A report on a mutual evaluation/assessment of compliance with the international standards for financial regulation, anti-money laundering and combating terrorist financing which evaluation/assessment has been carried out by an independent third party (e.g. IMF, FATF style regional body).
Application for Observer Status
6. Application can be made for Observer status in advance of full membership. Observer status is offered for a transitional period of up to two years for those jurisdictions that have entered into the commitments referred to in paragraph 4 above, but where there is not yet an independent mutual evaluation/assessment providing evidence either of a satisfactory track record of translating the commitments into effect or a detailed action plan for doing so within a reasonable time frame.
7. If at the end of the transition period the conditions for full membership are still not met the Group will decide either to extend the transition period or withdraw the observer status.
Approval of Applications for Membership or Observer Status
8. The admission of new Members and the granting of Observer Status shall be subject to the approval of the Group.
Standards and Guidelines
9. The Group from time to time either separately, or in conjunction with another relevant authority, will issue statements of best practice or minimum standards.
Evaluation of Members
10. Members will be subject to evaluation exercises, carried out either by independent third parties approved by the Group or in the form of a peer group review, in respect of their compliance with the conditions of membership. The conditions of membership need to be met on an initial and ongoing basis.
(a) The Group shall hold at least one general meeting each year to which all members shall be invited
(b) Decisions of the Group shall be reached on a consensual and not a majority voting basis.
(c) Notice of each general meeting shall be given to each Member and Observer by the Chairman no less than two calendar months before the date of the meeting.
(d) With the approval of the Group an extraordinary general meeting may be held at the request of the Chairman or individual members of the Group for which the notice requirement in paragraph 11(c) may be waived.
(e) Any member may give notice to the Chairman of a matter that it wishes to place on the agenda for the next meeting of the Group.
12. With the approval of the Group sub-committees of the Group may be formed to address specific issues.
13. Each Member and Observer shall pay an annual subscription in such amount as the Group may determine at a general meeting. All subscriptions shall be paid to the Group and shall be declared to be a debt due to the jurisdiction of the Chairman at the time being.
Termination and Suspension of Membership
(a) A member may resign with immediate effect by giving notice thereof to the Chairman.
(b) Invitations to attend GIFCS Meetings as Observer will not be issued where it is evident that a jurisdiction’s regulatory priorities are not in support of the Objectives of the Group
(c) With the approval of at least three quarters of the Group at a general meeting, the Membership of any jurisdiction may be terminated or suspended where Members are satisfied that the jurisdiction is not complying with the terms and conditions of Membership, and has not proactively commenced remedial measures to achieve meaningful compliance within a reasonable timetable. Such action may need to include submitting to a mutual evaluation of compliance where the membership considers this to be necessary.
(d) A Member shall be given due notice of any proposal to terminate or suspend Membership status, and will be given the opportunity at a general meeting to:-
- To provide members with a written statement of its case; and
- Address the meeting of the Group at which the proposal is to be considered, to explain any mitigating factors which it wishes to be taken into account.
The Chair and Deputy Chair
15. A Chairman and a Deputy Chairman shall be elected by the Group at a general meeting for a period of three years.
16. The Chairman or Deputy Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Group at which he or she is present. In the absence of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman a Chairman shall be appointed from those present at the meeting.
17. The Chairman or Deputy Chairman may act on behalf of the Group when representing the Group at meetings of international organisations. By agreement with the Chairman other members may represent the Group at specific meetings on an as-needed basis.
18. A Treasurer shall be appointed with the approval of the Group and shall be a representative of a Member jurisdiction. Alternatively, with the approval of the Group, the role of Treasurer may be performed by an appropriate officer(s) of a member jurisdiction that the Group has agreed is to provide all secretariat services, or in such other way as the Group may approve.
19. A Secretary may be appointed with the approval of the Group and shall be a representative of a member jurisdiction. Alternatively, the role of Secretary may be performed by an appropriate officer(s) of a member jurisdiction that the Group has agreed is to provide all secretariat services, or in such other way as the Group may approve.
(a) It shall be the duty of the Treasurer or other person performing the role of Treasurer as provided for in paragraph 18, to keep records of the financial affairs of the Group in accordance with generally accepted principles prepared on a calendar year basis.
(b) At a general meeting each year a financial statement will be presented in respect of the financial year immediately preceding the date of such meeting. Such accounts shall be open to inspection by any Member.
(c) The financial year of the Group shall end on the 31st December of each year.
(d) A professionally qualified auditor shall be appointed annually by the Group to audit the Group's accounts.
(e) All subscriptions and any donations or other funds which the Group may receive shall be held in an account in the name of the Group in a regulated financial institution in the jurisdiction of the Treasurer.
(f) Any payment out of the Group's account and any other matters relating to the account shall require two signatories, neither of whom shall be the Chairman, one of whom shall be the Treasurer and the other a representative of a Member jurisdiction.
Alternatively, with the approval of the Group, the financial affairs of the Group may be dealt with within the financial accounts of a relevant body of a member jurisdiction that the Group has agreed is to provide all secretariat services, or in such other way as the Group may approve.
Register of Members/Observers
21. There shall be a register of Members and Observers kept by the Chairman in which shall be recorded every Member and Observer of the Group. The following information shall be recorded against each Member or Observer:-
- The address for service of all notices or documents;
- The name, physical address, telephone number and web address of the person or persons nominated to represent the member or observer with respect to the affairs of the Group.
22. A notice may be served on the representative of a Member or Observer recorded in the Group's register of Members and Observers personally, by pre-paid post in an envelope addressed to the address of the Member or Observer shown in the register, by facsimile transmission to the fax number of the Member or Observer shown in the register or by e-mail to the e-mail address of the Member or Observer shown in the register.
24. The Group may be wound up with the approval of the Group. In this event the Chairman shall organise for it to be wound up in an orderly fashion and for the Group's assets to be realised and after payment of any liabilities to be distributed equally between its Members in proportion to their relative paid subscriptions for the year or on such basis as a the Group as a whole may decide at a general meeting.
Amendment of Constitution
25. Any revocation, amendment or addition to this constitution shall require the approval of the Group.