Concerns about FSC Complaints Procedures

For decades the financial services sector has been Gibraltar’s industrial powerhouse providing quality jobs and wealth both directly and indirectly in terms of such diverse areas as civil service posts and building construction. Just recently at least three companies have announced plans to build new office blocks – all depend on the continued well being of the industry. 

Successive governments have churned out hundreds of thousands of sections of legislation to ensure that our City was ahead of the game when it comes to competition and a whole generation of Gibraltarians has been trained to fill in the employment opportunities created in the sector.

All this has happened in the face of stiff competition from other jurisdictions and a relentless international effort to tighten up regulation.

That is why recent very public complaints from big players in the insurance industry about the way that the Financial Services Commission operates is said to be a cause for concern. The strident debate has coincided with the departure of long term Chief Executive at the FSC Marcus Killick and his replacement by ex Executive Director of the UK Solicitors Regulatory Authority, Samantha Barrass.


Charles Gomez & Co have acted in several regulatory cases and report that there is widespread concern that the FSC’s involvement not just in investigating but also determining outcomes and imposing sanctions suggests that there may be substance to the complaints of those who say that as a body it seems to act as judge jury and executioner. Although all relevant Acts provide for appeals to the Supreme Court and judicial review is available where appropriate, the industry could do with a more transparent and independent disciplinary body. 

Ms. Barrass who once famously chastised the SRA as “chaps regulating chaps” has already ruffled some feathers among the great and the good on the Rock and it is hoped that her legal background will allow her to ensure that the FSC’s procedures are upgraded to ensure that due process is not only followed but seen to be so. 

Charles Gomez.