The European Securities and Markets Authority have now recommended that Guernsey and Jersey be granted a ‘third country’ passport under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). These passports are currently only available to EU entities, but this recommendation means a possible extension to non-EU entities.
If the recommendation is approved by the EU commission this may mean that the Channel Islands could be able to offer a broader range of marketing and organizational options to fund managers, regardless of whether they are European or global investors.
Six jurisdictions were initially assessed with regards to the passport, being Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, USA, Jersey and Guernsey. These jurisdictions were selected based on the amount of fund activity and the experience of EU national authorities in dealing with these jurisdictions. Whilst it was decided that no obstacles exist in granting the passport to Jersey and Guernsey, no decision was reached on Hong Kong, Singapore and the USA due to concerns related to competition, regulatory issues and a lack of sufficient evidence to properly assess the relevant criteria. Switzerland is to enact legislation in order to remove obstacles.
The European Securities and Markets Authority have plans to finalise their assessment of Hong Kong, Singapore and the USA and to assess further groups of non-EU countries.