Categories for GIBA Media Statements

Guernsey housing census

1 February 2023

Jo Peacegood, Guernsey International Business Association Vice Chair and Housing Working Group Leader, said:

“The ability to attract and retain staff with the right skills, is a critical factor in the island’s competitiveness and the health of Guernsey’s economy.  The finance sector employs around 20% of Guernsey’s working population but generates nearly 40% of the island’s GDP. 

“Anecdotally, we believe that recruitment is still a challenge, and there are currently a number of open vacancies in the finance sector. This will ultimately have an impact on productivity and growth. Firms are resorting to outsourcing off island to deliver which is a missed opportunity in a number of ways including training opportunities and ultimately the impact on GDP / tax revenues.  

“Whilst there will be many variables at play, the costs and availability of suitable accommodation play a significant role in recruiting and retaining staff.  

“We need to ensure that industry and government are strategically aligned and committed to ensuring that Guernsey remains an attractive place to work and live.”

Guernsey Association of Pension Providers becomes a GIBA member association

22 January 2024

Guernsey Association of Pension Providers (GAPP) has become a member association of The Guernsey International Business Association (GIBA).

Formed in 1990, GAPP represents the interests of all those involved in the pension sector in Guernsey. The association aims to share a knowledge of pension issues and make representations as appropriate to States bodies and the Guernsey Financial Services Commission on pension matters.

GAPP’s members are local professionals who operate pension arrangements and other forms of provision for retirement in Guernsey. The association is also open to trustees and other professionals with an interest in the sector.

Paul Sykes, Chair of GIBA said: ‘GIBA is the representative body of the financial services industry in Guernsey, which represents and promotes the common interests of our members and Guernsey’s international finance industry. Whilst the banking and insurance and funds and fiduciary (trust) industries are long-established sectors of Guernsey’s financial services infrastructure, the pension providers are becoming a more and more important part of our finance industry.  The pension sector is increasingly acknowledged as a ‘fifth pillar’ of the sector. As we proudly welcome GAPP, we strengthen our representation of the financial services industry in Guernsey.’

Roger Berry, Vice President of GAPP, said: ‘GIBA’s connections with the other local associations are invaluable and we’re proud to join forces to discuss and influence current issues. We’re looking forward to working more closely with the Association and its member associations in the coming months.’

Finance Industry body confirms support of funding for promotional agency

 21 November 2023

The Guernsey International Business Association (GIBA) has confirmed its support for an increase in members’ funding of Guernsey Finance for 2024.  This is the portion of funding that is paid by finance sector companies to cover the costs of Guernsey Finance, which is a joint industry and government initiative.  

The agency is jointly funded by industry and the States of Guernsey, with government funding included as a priority in the latest iteration of the Government Work Plan.  

Guernsey Finance’s role is to promote Guernsey as an international centre of excellence for financial services through marketing, communications and business development, with representatives active in the island’s chosen markets around the world. 

The agency is tasked with helping to promote the island’s finance sector in an extremely crowded marketplace against very well-resourced competitors. 

In the last year, Guernsey has been named International Finance Centre of the Year at the Citywealth IFC Awards 2023 and risen 12 places in the latest Global Financial Centres Index. Guernsey also won European Domicile of the Year at the European Captive Review of the Year awards. 

The work of Guernsey Finance also helps to ensure that influential bodies such as CityUK, the BVCA and the City of London Corporation understand the role that Guernsey plays in the flow of capital around the world and its value to the UK business community. 

Deputy Nick Moakes, Chair of the Guernsey Finance Sector Forum and member of the Committee for Economic Development said: “I welcome this announcement.  Guernsey Finance is responsible for promoting Guernsey’s finance sector on the international stage.   

“Whilst Guernsey is already a leading international finance centre, it is incredibly important that we continue to promote Guernsey in what is a highly competitive marketplace. This additional funding will help Guernsey Finance to deepen and broaden its international engagement.” 

Paul Sykes, Chair of GIBA said: “Our members have supported an increase in what companies will pay towards Guernsey Finance.  We believe that the continuation of government funding for Guernsey Finance at the current level at minimum, must be part of the island’s economic development strategy.  

“It is wholly appropriate that our industry supports the work of Guernsey Finance and vitally  important for government to invest in the development in the sector which makes a significant contribution to the island’s GDP.”

The Guernsey International Business Association welcomes improved air connectivity

26 October 2023

Paul Sykes, Chair, The Guernsey International Business Association (GIBA) said:

“The Guernsey International Business Association (GIBA) believes that Aurigny’s new destinations will be welcomed by the finance community, particularly the London City and Paris routes. London City offers easy access to colleagues, clients and key intermediaries; the City remains an important financial district for Guernsey and this kind of connectivity helps to position the island as an accessible international finance centre. The Paris route will improve connections to Europe, and as an international hub, it offers business travellers more choice and improves the jurisdiction’s appeal to clients around the world.

“We hope the routes will be popular with islanders and can be maintained for the long term economic and social benefit of Guernsey.”

Guernsey International Business Association Responds to the Tax Review

17 October 2023 

The Guernsey International Business Association (GIBA) has provided input into the States of Guernsey’s (SoG) development of the Tax Review in the interests of resolving the real and pending structural deficit dilemma. 

GIBA implores the States of Guernsey’s Deputies to act at the earliest opportunity to avoid further delays that will have adverse commercial, economic and social consequences for the Island.  The absence of investment in infrastructure, health and education alone will have severe direct and indirect consequences on the lives and prospects of the people of Guernsey with long term ramifications. 

Standard & Poor (S&P) Global has warned of further ‘negative rating action… if the government fails to implement tax reforms that stabilise its funding needs.’  A further downgrade will make Guernsey less attractive to business and increase costs, exacerbating the deficit.  

Whilst it is being suggested that capital investment could be withheld or pension funding deferred this will add to costs in the future necessitating more radical revenue raising later i.e. even bigger tax increases. 

The island’s finance industry generates almost 40% of its GDP and provides employment for around 7,000 islanders.  The finance sector has grown on the basis of tax, regulatory stability and certainty so GIBA supports measures which seek to redress the deficit with a clear and timely plan on the implementation of tax reforms.  

Business is expected to make a significant contribution to revenues under the Policy & Resources Committee’s Funding & Investment Plans.  However, mechanisms for achieving this do not and should not include changes to the existing corporate tax regime.   Guernsey is aligned with Jersey and the Isle of Man with a collective approach to corporate tax OECD’s Pillar Two Framework.  Remaining in lockstep with the other Crown Dependencies is critical.  International accountancy firm, Ernst & Young (EY) considered the introduction of a new corporate income tax on a territorial basis when other competitor jurisdictions maintain their existing regimes and concluded that to do so will lead to a reduction in new business and could also cause existing businesses to relocate.  

E&Y also warned that any move to a territorial system can be expected to trigger a reassessment by international standard setters in relation to corporate taxation, including the EU’s Code of Conduct Group and the OECD Global Forum.  This would import further uncertainty and damage to Guernsey’s economy by making the island less attractive to do business in, negatively impacting growth in the island’s key revenue-generating industry.   

In short, the unilateral adoption by Guernsey of a territorial tax regime brings significant risk without substantive reward.  

Other measures that are envisaged in P&R’s proposals, such as ISE exemption fees, the introduction of a flat fee corporate levy, and OECD Pillar II compliance are a more effective and simple way to generate additional revenue from corporates without making any changes to the existing corporate tax regime.  That said, more clarity and detail is required in these areas and proper consultation with industry, based on a thorough impact analysis, should take place prior to implementation of any of these potential measures. 

GIBA accepts the need for revenues to be raised by widening the basis of our tax system with a mitigated consumption tax and increased business contributions to SoG’s revenues.  However, it is also essential for government to achieve savings from spending cuts.  GIBA notes the Chamber of Commerce has highlighted Public Sector Pension Reform as one of the single biggest cost savings that could be achieved.  Compensating measures would be required to insulate nurses, teachers and other essential workers but defined benefit/final salary schemes have been closed and confined to history across the private sector across the world because they are unsustainable.   

We recognise that these are challenging issues for Deputies to consider. However, the policy letter does contain a combination of elements that offer a sound basis on which to move forward. The proposals also attempt to rebalance the island’s sources of tax revenue in line with other jurisdictions, such as Jersey.  

We welcome the opportunity to engage directly with Deputies who wish to understand more about the potential impact of the different tax options being proposed in the policy letter and in the various amendments over the coming week.