Guernsey’s approach to Global Sustainability Regulation Adoption
William Mason, Director General, Guernsey Financial Services Commission
In this interview William Mason, Director General at Guernsey Financial Services Commission, discusses Guernsey’s financial services regulator’s approach to global sustainable finance regulation.
“Adopting sustainability regulation is important because it's the global benchmark. For many years, we had lots of people doing different things. Now we have a global standard that has been adopted by the global standard setter. I think it's quite important to consider how to sensibly adopt it. We are an international financial centre, and our counterparts overseas are going to be increasingly demanding this information as if it were the price of doing business.”
- William Mason, Director General at Guernsey Financial Services Commission
Watch the full interview below:
About Sustainable Finance Guernsey
Guernsey Finance is a joint industry and government initiative established to promote Guernsey's financial services sector internationally. The agency conducts marketing, communications and business development on behalf of its members from Guernsey and overseas, with representatives also employed in key markets globally. Its mission is to use Guernsey’s connections for the benefit of its members and the community as a whole.
Guernsey’s dedication to greening the finance sector is highlighted in its international commitments, including membership of the United Nations Financial Centres for Sustainability, the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures and the Sustainable Insurance Forum.
Guernsey is at the forefront of development of green and sustainable finance and, as a responsible global citizen, aims to contribute its expertise and experience to deliver strategic commitments through Guernsey Finance’s dedicated initiative: Guernsey Green Finance. The island is also home to the world’s first Natural Capital Fund: a regime that helps channel investment into biodiversity and natural capital projects.
About William Mason
William Mason is the Director General of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission. He served on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors between 2014 and 2022 where he chaired both the Audit and Risk Committee and the Standards Assessment Working Group, establishing IAIS’s regulatory assessment programme. He has a strong interest in Supervisory Technology and Green Finance. Under his leadership the Guernsey Financial Services Commission has developed:
the Guernsey Green Fund framework (2018) and the Natural Capital Fund framework (2022), both possibly global firsts in environmental finance;
bought into force environmentally sensitive green capital rules for life insurers possibly another world first for insurance regulation; and
made moves, including planting 53,000 trees in 2022 in an ecologically advantageous fashion, towards becoming a net zero regulator.
Prior to becoming a financial regulator, William worked at the UK Cabinet Office where he helped write “Regulation - Less is More, a report to the Prime Minister.” His other publications include: “Freedom for Public Services; The Costs of Regulation and PRISM Explained – Implementing Risk Based Supervision.” Earlier in his career William gained private sector experience working for an international energy firm on three continents and a US strategy house, Monitor Group. He also served as a volunteer police officer in London, a school governor in a deprived neighborhood as well as being a parish and district councilor.
From 2006 - 2010 he supervised large insurers and investment firms at the UK FSA where he was also asked to lead an emergency credit institutions team during the Global Financial Crisis. In 2010 he moved to become Head of Risk at the Central Bank of Ireland where he reinvented Irish financial services supervisory processes as it recovered from the Euro crisis before playing an influential role in the operational design of the ECB’s banking union with it then adopting the software he designed to implement its supervisory operating model.