Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: If I am not sure if an investment business-related activity needs authorisation from the Commission can I ask you for advice?
Investment business is regulated under the provisions of the Financial Services (Jersey) Law 1998. Commission staff will be happy to provide general explanations of what activities that law covers. However, Commission staff cannot provide legal advice in respect of specific circumstances and if you are in any doubt as to the position you should seek advice from a lawyer qualified in Jersey law.
Q: Can you tell me what qualifies for Continuing Professional Development (“CPD”)?
The type of activity that may qualify for CPD purposes is set
out in section 3.4 of the Codes
of Practice for Investment Business.
However, given that CPD needs to be tailored to the specific needs
of each employee, the Codes put the onus on the management of the ‘registered
person’ (i.e., the licence holder) to determine what specific
activity is suitable to be counted as CPD for any specific employee
taking into account the employee’s job description, current
duties, and future development needs. As a consequence, the Commission
cannot endorse specific courses as qualifying for CPD purposes.
Q: How can I find out if an investment business is regulated
The Commission’s website lists all regulated investment
businesses. On the home page, click on the “Regulated Entities” box
here to go direct to the relevant page.
Q: What can I do if I have a complaint against an investment
The Commission has issued a guidance note on consumer complaints, which can viewed by clicking here.
Q: What should I do if I think I was mis-sold an endowment
The majority of cases of alleged mis-selling of endowment policies
that the Commission has been made aware of occurred before the
introduction of the Financial Services (Jersey) Law 1998 (the “FS(J)L”). The FS(J)L regulates firms that provide financial advice. Thus the
giving of investment advice (including in relation to endowment
policies) was not a regulated activity prior to the coming into
effect of the FS(J)L. This means that the Commission cannot take
action against Jersey-based firms for alleged cases of mis-selling
that occurred before that date.
However, under the Codes of Practice for Investment Business (the “IB Codes”), which are applicable to financial advisers
they are expected to fully investigate complaints that are made
against them, even if the issue relates to something that happened
before the FS(J)L. If you think that you were incorrectly advised
to buy an endowment policy you should lodge a formal complaint
with the firm that advised you. The Commission expects firms to
take seriously complaints of mis-selling that are made against
them. If individual complaints are substantiated, the Commission
would expect firms to consider whether, as a matter of good business
practice, they should offer compensation.
Under the IB Codes, when giving investment advice,
firms should establish the customer's needs and risk appetite and
explain why a particular investment is suitable. All this should
be properly documented. Customers can play their part by ensuring
that they explain their financial position and needs to the advisers
they consult, and obtain adequate written explanation of why particular
products are recommended for them and what the risks involved are.
(Further information on using financial advisers can be found on the Commission’s Protect Your Money Website ‘Choosing a financial adviser’.)
Q: How do I apply for an investment business licence and
what information is required?
The Commission welcomes applications from businesses wishing to operate in Jersey. The first step should be to contact the Senior Manager of Investment Business or, if he is unavailable, the Deputy Director of Insurance and Investment Business, to arrange a meeting and explain the type of activity
that is being contemplated. The Director will be pleased to introduce
division staff that would be involved in handling your application
and, if successful, working with you once you obtained registration.
The Director will also be pleased to explain both the licensing
regime and the Commission’s approach to supervision of this
Although Commission staff will be pleased to explain the regulatory
regime, they cannot provide legal advice. Most potential applicants
seek legal advice at the time of approaching the Commission, or
at least prior to making formal application. If the applicant is
a business new to operating in Jersey, the legal adviser would
also be able to offer advice regarding the Island’s housing
and labour regulations.
The Commission publishes various documents which you may like to read, or Commission staff will be pleased to explain them to you. Key documents include: the FS(J)L) Licensing Policy; the Policy Statement and Guidance Notes on Outsourcing; the IB Codes; and the Handbook for the prevention and detection of money laundering and the financing of terrorism for financial services business regulated under the regulatory laws. Most applicants find these documents clear and practical, reflecting existing good commercial and regulatory practice.
Once you are comfortable with the regime and have concluded that
you want to progress a formal application, the Commission would
be pleased to receive:
(a) a completed Application
Form, including the application fee;
(b) a comprehensive Business Plan setting out how you anticipate
you will market your business, how you plan for it to develop,
how you will manage it and how you will manage its risks; and
(c) a completed Personal
Questionnaire for each of the principal
persons including consent to seek a Police check.
The Commission will acknowledge receipt of your application and
begin assessing the application. This assessment includes looking
at the fit and proper status of the applicants, the principals
behind the business, and those principals who will be managing
it. The Commission will take up regulatory references.
The Commission will keep you informed of the progress of your
case and will revert to you for missing information or clarification
if we find anything unclear. We aim to approve applications, or
provide the reasons why we are unable to approve an application,
within two weeks of receiving responses to our final queries. Overall,
the normal time to progress a successful application is in the
region of six weeks.