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Picardo signals continued Govt support for financial services

The Gibraltar Government’s support for the financial services sector for this forthcoming year will increase by 60% and hit £1 million, the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo has said.

The extra backing will in part help to meet the cost of providing robust regulation in an increasingly complex industry, Mr Picardo said during an address to close to 200 individuals from the financial services sector in Gibraltar yesterday. He was accompanied by Albert Isola, Minister for Financial Services.

Mr Picardo also acknowledged the impact of increased fees in some sectors and signalled a lower hike for next year than proposed in a recent consultation by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission.

“We will next year increase fees from this new lower base not by the 10% proposed in the Consultation paper but by a maximum of 4% for each of the next 4 years, and thereafter in line with cost of living increases,” he said.

“This will mean that Government will stay with you in contributing to the costs of our Regulator on a reducing basis for many years to come.”

Mr Picardo told his audience that the government’s financial support for the sector has been ‘unprecedented’ as has the extent of its ‘consultation and cooperation’ with them on all matters financial services.

“It is a signal of our support for the sector and the importance we attach to its further development, whatever the challenges we may face,” he added.

After much consideration and discussion, Mr Picardo said, the Government has made serious and significant adjustments to the proposed fees for this year.

“For many of you, the changes we have made will result in reduced fees, and a significant number of firms already had a reduction in their fees from last year, as a result of the new methodology,” he said.

“Increases for some of you remain significant and I much appreciate the responses we have had which accept and understand these increases in light of the growing regulatory obligations we have and the additional resources provided at the FSC.”

Mr Picardo also said that the Government is on course to deliver an entirely new set of Financial Services legislation in the coming 12 months. He said they believe this will make doing business in Gibraltar easier, not just for the firms, but for the Regulator too.

“We will be consulting with you this year on every step of the way so that, together, we will achieve the desired and intended result. We are also working closely with your associations on every Directive in its transposition and I thank you for your support in this important cooperation.”