2008 – 2018 Looking Back and Looking Forward in Finance

David Oxburgh, Chair, Guernsey International Business Association


Ten years on from the global financial crisis Guernsey has a well-diversified finance sector of which we can be proud, and which makes a considerable contribution to the economy of our island.

Local industry highlights include:

–          In the investment funds space, we are a globally-respected specialist centre in the servicing of alternative assets (such as private equity, infrastructure and alternative debt);

–          We are home to a specialised insurance sector which is pioneering and innovative;

–          Our robust constitutional, legislative and regulatory framework provides a safe and secure environment for private wealth;

–         Guernsey is an established centre for investment management, home to a diverse range of niche investment firms;

–         We are a centre of excellence for international retirement benefit schemes; and

–         The island has a mature banking sector, home to over 20 international private banks.


Given the dependency of our economy on the finance sector, one may have expected the global financial crisis to have had a greater impact than it did. It certainly didn’t have the same immediate effect as elsewhere.

Our success over the last 10 years, or indeed the last 50, is down to innovation coupled with a supportive government and regulatory regime and these factors will be as key going forward as they have in the past. The diversity of the sector and the breadth and depth of expertise here, which positions us as a global finance centre with economic substance, is a testament to the qualifications and experience of those working here. Skills and training of new entrants and existing employees, therefore, remains an important area of focus.

Whilst there remain challenges, the future is looking exciting. With a financial sector strategy framework due to be published in the coming months and industry, government and regulator working together with Guernsey Finance on five short-term action areas, including green finance and global funds distribution, the plan is that Guernsey’s proposition will be even more attractive as we move forward.


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