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:
|Samantha Barrass MSC, BCA
||Samantha Barrass was appointed 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
|6 October 2011
||5 October 2020
||Dr Jonathan Spencer CB MA DPhil (Chairman) recently retired as 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.
|Adrian Coles OBE
||27 January 2014
||25 January 2020
||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 Senior Independent Commission Member, and Chairman of the Conduct Risk Committee, at the Progressive Building Society, a significant savings and mortgage provider in Northern Ireland. He is also Senior Independent Commission Member and Chairman of the Remuneration Committee 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 a trustee of the pension schemes run by the BSA and the Progressive Building Society. He is also a trustee of the crowd-funding charity The Funding Network, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Corporate Governance Research Group at Cardiff Business School. Adrian Coles is the Senior Independent Commission Member of the GFSC.
||29 July 2018
||28 July 2021
||Kerry Blight has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry having served most recently as CEO at Credit Suisse Gibraltar for over 5 years and Regional Director at Natwest/RBSI Gibraltar for 7 years prior to that. He has also served as Chairman of the Gibraltar Finance Centre Council.
|Paul Sharma MA FCA
||15 February 2016
||13 February 2022
||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 and is a non-executive director of Wyelands Capital 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).
||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.
||10 April 2019
||9 April 2022
||Emilio Gomez commenced his career in 1974 when he worked with two prominent Gibraltarian accountants, Messrs Galliano and Isola, and subsequently became a partner of the international firm, KPMG in 1986. In 2004 Mr Gomez successfully merged his practice with Baker Tilly (Gibraltar) which led to the incorporation of Baker Tilly (Gibraltar) Ltd. During his career Mr Gomez has been president of the Gibraltar Accountants Society, Chairman of the Gibraltar Insurance Association and Chairman of the Gibraltar Finance Centre Council.
||14 August 2019
||13 August 2022
||Richard Hill is currently Managing Director at Ibex having held the role for over 15 years. Prior to that Mr Hill served as a Financial Accountant at Victor Chandler International. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and studied Economics with Human Geography at Loughborough University.