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Guernsey Announces Clarification of ILS Regulations

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January 24, 2017

Earlier this month, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) announced it had formally adopted and published new rules that clarify the regulatory treatment of insurance-linked securities (ILS). The two most significant changes to the regulations are the streamlined application process allowing new special purpose insurers (SPIs) to be approved in 1 business day and allowing applicants approved for one SPI to form further SPIs without additional applications.

Guernsey finance chief executive, Dominic Wheatley, said, “These positive changes are a codification of the way the GFSC already applies its discretionary powers and they provide a new level of operational certainty and efficiency for the insurance sector.”

In Guernsey, SPIs must be fully collateralized to the extent of their liabilities and, in addition to ILS, may include collateralized reinsurance, catastrophe bonds, side-cars, and life-based securitizations. Typically, cash assets will be applied against liabilities. However, under the changes, the GFSC recognizes that the commercial interests of the counterparties may be satisfied using (re)insurance, letters of credit, or partly paid shares.

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