Commission

The Commission is a statutory body corporate established by the Financial Services Commission Act 2007. It consists of the Chief Executive as ex-officio member and seven other persons, at least two of these persons shall have significant experience of regulation and supervision of finance services business in another jurisdiction. The Chief Executive and the other members are appointed by the Minister with responsibility for financial affairs. The Commission has a separate Chairman appointed from within the seven members of the Commission.

The functions of the Commission are to keep under review the operation of Gibraltar legislation and the effectiveness of supervision of financial services; to monitor the extent to which Gibraltar legislation and supervision complies with European Union obligations and supervisory standards governing financial services in the United Kingdom where Community law applies; to protect the public against financial loss arising out of dishonesty, incompetence or malpractice; to advise the Government of Gibraltar and the Government of the United Kingdom on matters concerning financial services; and to draw up codes for regulating the terms of service of persons employed by the Commission.

The Chief Executive Officer is charged with the responsibility of supervising institutions carrying on finance business in or from within Gibraltar. The CEO is required to ensure that such supervision complies with any applicable obligation Gibraltar has as a constituent of the European Union and to establish supervisory standards which match those required by legislation and supervisory practice governing the provision of financial services within the United Kingdom.

Commission Members are not appointed as representatives of a constituency. They are appointed as individuals to bring their personal qualities and experience for the benefit of the Commission. Supervisory bodies need to be independent and this policy preserves the objectivity and independence of the Commission.

The Commission conducts an annual assessment of the performance of its Members and the Chairman. These are led by the Chairman and the Senior Independent Member respectively. Findings of the performance reviews are discussed at the Commission meetings.

Commission Members are provided with formal induction training upon appointment to the Commission and maintain regular contact with industry and related parties in order to keep abreast of current issues.

The current Commission consists of:

Name Appointed From Appointed To Bio
Samantha Barrass MSC, BCA
(Chief Executive)
    Mrs Barrass took over as Chief Executive Officer of the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission on 17th February 2014. Mrs Barrass previously worked at the FSA in a variety of regulatory roles spanning the delivery of new regulatory approaches and policy at both a domestic and international level, the supervision of markets and exchanges, and was one of the first economists employed by the FSA to develop cost-benefit and other evidential techniques for new regulation. She began her working career at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand as an economist focused on monetary policy strategy and economic reform. Mrs Barrass holds a B.Com (Economics), from the University of Canterbury (New Zealand) and an MSc in Economics, from the London School of Economics. Her most recent role prior to joining the Commission was as an Executive Director of the Solicitors Regulation Authority from 2009 to 2014 where she led the SRA’s high profile reform of its approach to regulation of the legal sector in England & Wales.
Dr Jonathan Spencer CB MA DPhil
(Chairman)
6 October 2011 5 October 2017 Dr Jonathan Spencer CB MA DPhil (Chairman) is currently Chair of the Church of England Pensions Board and Deputy Chair of East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust. Dr Spencer’s extensive experience in regulation goes back to 1991 where he served as Director of Insurance at the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for nearly 6 years. He subsequently held a number of Board level roles at the DTI and the Department of Constitutional Affairs. He was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 2002. Between 2005 and 2009 Dr Spencer was a Board member of the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Dr Jonathan Spencer is the Senior Independent Director of the Commission.
Emma Perez 1 October 2012 30 September 2018 Mrs Emma Perez is the Chief Executive Officer of SG Hambros Bank in Gibraltar and has comprehensive knowledge of the banking industry and has previously held the post of president of the Gibraltar Bankers Association. A fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants, Emma trained with KPMG before moving to Credit Suisse to pursue her banking career. Emma was included in the Citywealth IFC Power Women top 200 list for 2015.
Bruno Callaghan 28 May 2013 22 May 2019 Mr Bruno Callaghan originally trained with Willis in London and went on to establish Callaghan Insurance Brokers and on behalf of Willis Group, set up Willis Management Gibraltar Ltd managing captives and third party writers. Mr Callaghan sits on various captive boards and is a Director of Tradewise Insurance Company Gibraltar as well as have previously held the post of President of the Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce for three years. Mr Callaghan has previously been appointed to the Government Economic Advisory Council and was Chairman of the UKGTA.
Adrian Coles OBE 27 January 2014 25 January 2020 Mr Adrian Coles OBE MA was chief executive of a major UK financial services trade body, the Building Societies Association, for 20 years, before retiring in 2013. He is currently a non-executive director, and Chairman of the Conduct Risk Committee, at the Progressive Building Society, a major savings and mortgage provider in Northern Ireland. He is also Senior Independent Director at the Reclaim Fund Ltd, the body which forwards dormant bank and building society account monies to charity, while ensuring sufficient funds remain to meet the claims of account holders no longer dormant. Mr Coles is Chairman of Housing Securities Ltd, a borrowing club of UK housing associations, and is also a trustee of the pension schemes run by the BSA and the Progressive Building Society.
Edgar Lavarello 30 July 2012   20 July 2018 Mr Edgar Lavarello is a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Gibraltar. He has previously served as a member of the Audit Registration Board, the Deposit Guarantee Scheme and as president of the Gibraltar Accountants Society. He has also served on a number of Gibraltar Government committees and local authorities.
Paul Sharma MA FCA 15 February 2016 14 February 2019 Mr Paul Sharma is head of the EU Regulatory Advisory Services Practice and Managing Director at Alvarez & Marsal Financial Industry Advisory Services LLP based in the UK and at Alvarez and Marsal Benelux B.V based in the Netherlands. He is a Non-executive Director and the Audit Committee Chair at GreyCastle Holdings Limited. He was formerly Deputy Head of the UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority, and prior to that a director at the UK’s Financial Services Authority. He also formerly served as the UK’s alternate member on the Boards of Supervisors of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and of the European Banking Authority. He also formerly served on the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the Executive Committee of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors. He is an accountant (ICAEW) and an actuary (Honorary FIFA).
Peter Isola 4 March 2017 3 March 2020 Peter Isola is the Senior Partner of ISOLAS which is a major law firm in Gibraltar. Mr Isola has worked in the financial services sector all of his professional life and is widely recognised as a leader in this field; with particular emphasis in trust and corporate services and insurance. Mr Isola was the founder Chairman of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, a former President of the Chamber of Commerce and advises HM Government of Gibraltar on a number of committees including a Brexit working group. He is also a Director of a number of gaming and financial Services firms including the Gibraltar International Bank.
Meeting Number 127 126 125 124 123 122 121 120 119 118 117 116
Samantha Barrass Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Edgar Lavarello Yes Yes   Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
John Tattersall           Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Joseph E (Melo) Triay   Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Jonathan Spencer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bruno Callaghan Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Emma Perez Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes     Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Paul Sharma Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes              
Adrian Coles Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Peter Isola Yes                      
Recent attendance at Commission Meetings by Members