Update on GFSC appeal and Notice of Trading Statement
17 January 2018
STM Group Plc (AIM: STM), the cross border financial services group, is pleased to give a further update in relation to certain STM Gibraltar regulated entities (the "Companies"), pursuant to the previous announcement of 14 November 2017, which stated that those companies were appealing the decision by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission ("GFSC") to appoint Inspectors to review certain aspects of their businesses (the "Notices").
On 17 January 2018 STM Group Plc was informed that the Companies have agreed a collaborative way forward with the GFSC for a third-party review (a Skilled Person Review) to be carried out under Section 7 of the Financial Services (Information Gathering and Co-operation) Act 2013, on certain aspects of the various businesses (the "Report").
Therefore, the Hearing of the Appeals, previously scheduled for 22 January 2018, will no longer take place.
The agreed scope remains unchanged and will cover, inter alia, the effectiveness and oversight of the Companies' internal compliance function which is a central service for all the Gibraltar subsidiaries, corporate governance and controls, and an assessment of any potential conflicts of interest arising across the business. In addition, the Review will also cover certain specific areas in relation to the pensions and life assurance business relating to take-on and monitoring procedures for intermediaries, clients and investments advised by intermediaries.
The third party that will carry out the review (equivalent to a Section 166 report under UK legislation) will be Deloitte, and STM will agree the cost of such a review as a separate engagement with them.
Earlier in 2017 (and unrelated to the above) the Group took the decision to put the audit out to tender as part of its governance procedures and Deloitte were appointed as a result. It is expected that the Report will be finalised by 31 March 2018 and will include recommendations, if appropriate. The Report is to be provided jointly to the GFSC and STM.
The Company confirms that, despite costs incurred to date and expected costs to be incurred in relation to this matter, its trading subsidiaries have not experienced any adverse effects to trading as a result of these matters and remains confident of meeting management's previous expectations for the financial year ended 31 December 2017 and the financial year ending 31 December 2018. The Company expects to announce a trading statement in relation to the 12 month period ended 31 December 2017 on 24 January 2018.
Further announcements will be made as appropriate, once the Report has been concluded.
Alan Kentish, CEO of STM Group Plc commented:
"It is pleasing that the Gibraltar subsidiaries have been able to come to a workable solution with the Gibraltar regulator, rather than pursuing their case through the Courts which, at the end of the day, is in neither party's interest. We look forward to working with Deloitte and the GFSC."
The information communicated in this announcement is inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation 596/2014.
For further information, please contact:
|STM Group Plc|
|Alan Kentish, Chief Executive Officer||Via Walbrook PR|
|Therese Neish, Chief Financial Officer||www.stmgroupplc.com|
|FinnCap||Tel: +44 (0) 20 7220 0500|
|Matt Goode / Emily Watts - Corporate Finance||www.finncap.com|
|Mia Gardner - Corporate Broking|
|Walbrook||Tel: +44 (0) 20 7933 8780|
|Tom Cooper / Paul Vann||Mob: +44 (0) 797 122 1972|
Notes to editors:
STM is a multi jurisdictional financial services group which is listed on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange. The Group specialises in the delivery of a wide range of financial service products to professional intermediaries and the administration of assets for international clients in relation to retirement, estate and succession planning and wealth structuring.
Today, STM has operations in the UK, Gibraltar, Malta, Jersey and Spain. The Group is looking to expand through the development of additional products and services that its ever more sophisticated clients demand. STM has developed a specialist international pensions division which specialises in Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS), Qualifying Non UK Pension Schemes (QNUPS). STM has a Gibraltar Life Insurance Company, STM Life plc, which provides life insurance bonds - wrappers in which a variety of investments, including investment funds, can be held.
Further information on STM Group can be found at www.stmgroupplc.com