signOff launches world first as GFSC issues handbook changes

signOff launches world first as GFSC issues handbook changes


In an exciting step forward, the GFSC has issued new annexes to the Handbooks for Financial Services Businesses and Prescribed Businesses on Countering Financial Crime and Terrorist Financing, which have paved the way for businesses to have greater confidence when using technologies.

Guernsey based company, signOff, has been leading the way in this sector. It has developed and is now able to provide the world’s first offshore, cloud-based digital signature service. Launched in both Guernsey and Jersey and in partnership with A O Hall, Legal Specialists and Guernsey Digital Green house, this new technology is putting the Channels Islands on the map; keeping up with the latest global offerings and legal changes as the use of technology changes the traditional process of industry.

‘We are very pleased that the GFSC has made these changes to the handbook,’ said Tim Roussel, signOff Sales and Marketing. ‘Financial Services companies can now adopt fast and secure digital signatures with the confidence that the signed documents will be accepted. Here at signOff, we have been anticipating this progressive move forward and we are thrilled to show that Guernsey can be at the forefront of the industry.’

The advance of technology has extended far into almost every aspect of work and home life but its use in terms of due diligence has been limited. Now, the GFSC has recognised that technology is changing conventional methods of undertaking due diligence. Demand from industry for alternative, cost effective and customer friendly options has been growing and now companies can make the most of the development and implementation of a variety of alternative technical options that capture and deliver due diligence components through the internet, tablets or smart phone applications.

Digital signature solutions have been available for many years and their ability to improve business processes, reduce waste and dramatically reduce costs are well proven. Importantly, the use of a digital signature also validates the authenticity and integrity of an electronic document, which will evidence if that electronic document has been altered in any detail. Traditionally they have been delivered as “on-premise” solutions that have been relatively expensive and difficult to justify for the small to medium sized businesses. More recently online cloud solutions to this have been available, but these are based either in the United States or Europe. This introduced the issue of data being stored in those jurisdictions. The new capabilities from signOff make them one of the first to provide genuine, working solutions for these jurisdictional concerns.

This exciting move forward in terms of technological products for the finance industry and their acceptability in view of the GFSC, means that companies now have a positive affirmation that implementing new technologies, such as using digital signatures, is not only a valid way of doing business, but they are also expected to be a much bigger and more important element of the due diligence process.