CI Stock Exchange might have to close
Tuesday 15th October 2013, 12:00PM BST.
THE future of the Channel Islands Stock Exchange rests in the balance after it was revealed yesterday that it has been under investigation by the financial regulator for nearly two years.
The exchange, founded in Guernsey in 1998, is an important element of the island’s finance industry.
But yesterday it closed to new business and admitted that the Guernsey Financial Services Commission had been investigating ‘certain of its historic activities’, understood to date back many years, for the past 20 months.
Some senior industry figures expressed concern last night that the exchange might not survive the news – which came as a surprise to most spoken to by the Guernsey Press – and could be left open to ‘almost unlimited’ claims from listed entities. Sources called the news damaging to the island’s reputation,‘disastrous’ and ‘potentially the final nail in the coffin’.
‘This is serious, really serious, and the implications are unmentionable,’ said one.
The investigation is understood to revolve around regulatory failures, not criminal activity. CISX chairman Jon Moulton, in a statement issued on the exchange’s website, said he could not comment on the potential effects of theinvestigation on the business model of the exchange.
And although some sources hoped that the exchange could return to trading swiftly, others feared that the entity, which has made more than 5,000 listings over its 14 years in business, would be likely to be wound up.