Categories for Industry News

GIBA February Industry News Round-up

February Industry News Round-Up

February has been another busy month for Guernsey’s finance sector; here is our monthly newsletter with all of the top stories from the industry and our member organisations.

Don’t forget to follow @GIBAGuernsey on Twitter and GIBA – Guernsey International Business Association on LinkedIn for updates and news throughout the month.

 

GIBA NEWS

 

GIBA Launches A New Recruitment Tool for the Island’s Financial Services Industry

GIBA has produced an interactive PDF that showcases the many positive aspects of working and living in Guernsey.

From the opportunities for career progression to the wonderful work/life balance, Discover Guernsey has been written and designed to help local firms show potential recruits what a new life in Guernsey might have in store.

“The depth and breadth of expertise present in the island must be maintained to sustain an economically substantial financial services sector.

“As the local representative body of the finance industry, GIBA is keen to play its part in attracting the very best talent to the island,” says David Oxburgh, Chair of GIBA. “We encourage all local finance firms and recruitment agencies to use the PDF in their recruitment efforts.”

Download the PDF here.

 

GIBA Issues Statements on New Airlinks

February saw a number of new airlinks announced for the island, including FlyBe’s new route to Heathrow, Aurigny’s re-entry into the Southampton and Jersey market and Blue Islands’ service to London Southend.

Referring to the new Heathrow route, David Oxburgh, GIBA Chair, said:

“Business bodies have been very vocal about the need to improve air links, and particularly to international hubs, so GIBA is delighted that government has financially committed to supporting this trial – both with route development funding and the reduced airport charges for new routes.”

Read GIBA’s full statements here

 

GIBA Technical Status Update

The February technical status update is now online in the members’ section of the GIBA website.

Read more

 

BUSINESS NEWS

 

New Laws Could Make AI ‘Powerful Tool Kit for Island’

Guernsey can take a global lead in facilitating the use of artificial intelligence and other new technology in business with the drafting of new laws.

Finance industry chiefs said that the lodging of the Electronic Transactions (Electronic Agents) (Guernsey), 2019, Ordinance would offer certainty around the use of new technology – boosting confidence and enabling adopters of technology solutions to use the island.

Read more

 

Brexit is ‘Significant Opportunity’ for Domiciles with Close UK Relationship

Speaking at the regulator concerns panel at the World Captive Forum 2019 in Miami, Dominic Wheatley, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance said that Brexit represents a “significant opportunity” for domiciles bearing good relationships with the UK.

Read more

 

Guernsey Reaches Record Levels of Private Equity Business

The value of private equity business in Guernsey reached its highest ever level at the end of September 2018, according to the latest fund statistics from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.

The regulator confirmed that the net asset value of private equity funds in the island passed £120bn for the first time in Q3 2018.

Read more

 

Committee for Economic Development’s Charles Parkinson Makes Chamber Speach

Charles Parkinson spoke to Chamber of Commerce members this month, touching on the lack of investment in the island by the government and the need for a “holistic economic plan”.

He also spoke about the need for everyone to play a part in promoting a positive image of Guernsey and announced that a new vision document and economic roadmap will be released in the coming months.

Read more

 

FINANCE IN THE COMMUNITY

The charitable work done by Guernsey’s finance sector continues to support many people, groups and services in the community. Follow our Twitter feed and the hashtag #GsyFinance4Community, here are just a few examples:

 

First Central Insurance & Technology Group supports Three Local Charities

The IT department at First Central Insurance & Technology Group had a clear-out, and rather than just disposing of old laptops, screens and monitors, they were shared amongst the business in exchange for a donation to the business’ chosen charities.

In total, over £1,400 was raised for The Early Birth Association, RMCH Charity and PPBF.

 

Lloyds Bank Foundation Open for Grant Applications

Grant applications have been invited for local CI charities by Lloyds Bank Foundation.

Applications are invited from businesses that are delivering vital services to improve people’s lives and strengthen communities.

Read more

 

MARCH DIARY DATES

There are six Guernsey Finance events this month, including:

  • 12th March – International Trust & Private Client Forum Guernsey
  • 21st March – Pensions De-risking Insurance Briefing – London
  • 26th March – Guernsey’s Global Distribution Seminar – London

Find out more about these events.

 

Brexit Update

29th March
12-2pm
Duke of Richmond HotelGuernsey Finance and the States of Guernsey will be hosting a lunchtime seminar to provide an update on Guernsey’s stability, competitiveness and resilience as a place to do business in a post-Brexit world.
The event will consist of a series of presentations followed by a Q&A session:

  • Guernsey as a place to do business – Dominic Wheatley, Chief Executive, Guernsey Finance
  • Guernsey, Brexit and constitutional resilience – Deputy Lyndon Trott, Vice-President of the Policy & Resources Committee, and Chairman of Guernsey Finance
  • BEPS, Brexit and beyond: emerging international tax transparency – Tony Mancini, Deputy Chair of GIBA
  • Regulatory continuity through Brexit – William Mason, Director-General of the GFSC
  • Data adequacy and security – Colin Vaudin, Chief Information Officer, States of Guernsey

Register here

 

CI Human Capital Summit – The Future of Work

Bright Futures will welcome speakers from Amazon, the Financial Times, the OECD, the CBI, a range of technology businesses, HR professionals, employment lawyers and business leaders to talk about the changing face of the workforce and workplace.
Buy tickets here
GIFA Academy – Financial Crime
20th March
12.30-1.30pm
St James

The GIFA Academy was established to provide a source of information and education to individuals working within the fund sector in Guernsey

Register here

 

CI Human Capital Summit – The Future of Work

Bright Futures will welcome speakers from Amazon, the Financial Times, the OECD, the CBI, a range of technology businesses, HR professionals, employment lawyers and business leaders to talk about the changing face of the workforce and workplace.

Buy tickets here

 

GIFA Academy – Financial Crime

20th March

12.30-1.30pm

St James

The GIFA Academy was established to provide a source of information and education to individuals working within the fund sector in Guernsey

Register here

Discover Guernsey – a New Recruitment Tool for the Island’s Financial Services industry

GIBA has produced an interactive PDF that showcases the many positive aspects of working and living in Guernsey.
Guernsey has developed numerous niche leadership positions in financial services through excellence and innovation. The depth and breadth of expertise present in the island must be maintained to sustain an economically substantial financial services sector.
As the local representative body of the finance industry, GIBA is keen to play its part in attracting the very best talent to the island.

The document can be used by member associations, their individual and corporate members and associated service providers, such as recruitment agencies.

GIBA hopes that the document will be helpful in the recruitment process to explain the career potential of the local finance industry and answer typical questions that recruits may have about the island.

The PDF is interactive, linking to other relevant websites and useful sources of information. Practical advice on setting up home, registering with local service providers and exploring the Bailiwick is also included.

GIBA’s member associations can:

Upload and make available on their association website
Share a link to the PDF on social media feeds
Make the PDF available to their members
Ask their member contacts to share with their human resources department or send to local or off-island recruitment agencies

You can download the PDF here.

January Industry News Round-up

 
2019 has got off to a flying start for Guernsey’s finance sector; here is our monthly newsletter with all of January’s top stories from the industry and our member organisations.

 
Don’t forget to follow @GIBAGuernsey on Twitter for updates and news throughout the month.

BUSINESS NEWS

Looking Ahead With the Guernsey Finance Industry Update

Guernsey Finance’s annual industry update informed the local finance industry on progress made in 2018 and plans for next year at its annual Industry Update on Thursday 24 January.

The event offered a broad overview of the business and political climate in financial services nationally after a tumultuous year and updated attendees on the agency’s activities in business development, strategy, off-island PR and marketing.

If you missed the event, you can review the presentations here.

 

Guernsey Drafts World-First Laws on Smart Contracts

Guernsey has drafted new laws to offer certainty regarding the use of electronic agents in transactions and contract matters and to create a secure environment for the exploitation of technology for specialist financial services.

The Electronic Transactions (Electronic Agents) (Guernsey), 2019, Ordinance aims to offer greater certainty in the use of artificial intelligence and distributed ledger technology, and to encourage adopters of technology solutions to use Guernsey.

Read more

 

TISE Breaks Records With New Listings in 2018

There were 865 new listings on the International Stock Exchange (TISE) during 2018.

This represents an increase of 160 (22.7%) on 2017 and is the largest number of securities listed in a calendar year on the Exchange since the business was established in 1998.

It took the total number of listed securities on TISE to 2,857 at the end of December 2018. A number of firms joined as Listing Members of the Exchange during 2018, including ILS specialist Solidum Re (Guernsey) ICC Limited, Isle of Man-based FIM Capital and, in Jersey, Intertrust Securities, as well as Maples and Calder.

Read more

 

Finance Sets Out Key Messages to Promote Guernsey

How we all talk about the jurisdiction can make a big difference to how it’s perceived by clients and our colleagues in other locations.

Guernsey Finance has collaborated with industry representatives to produce a set of core messages which define and differentiate Guernsey’s financial services industry.

 Read more

 

GUERNSEY GREEN FUND

Global Asset and Risk Manager Receives Guernsey Green Fund Designation

Insight Investment, a global asset and risk manager, has become the latest manager to seek a Guernsey Green Fund designation for one of its funds.

Insight received a Guernsey Green Fund accreditation for its farmland fund, the Global Farmland Fund Limited (GFF), which invests in farming projects worldwide.

Read more

 

BREXIT

Read more

Gavin St Pier Issues Statement Detailing Guernsey’s Preparedness for Brexit

In the absence of the UK approving a Withdrawal Agreement regarding Brexit, Gavin St Pier, President of the Policy & Resources Committee, has issued a lengthy statement detailing Guernsey’s preparedness.

Key points included:

  • The opportunity for Guernsey to join the UK’s membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is being actively pursued – with a meeting with Dr Liam Fox next week “to progress this matter to a conclusion.”
  • Guernsey has adopted legislation based on the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and has been granted adequacy status by the EU Commission. This will not change as a result of Brexit.
  • With many businesses not wanting to have discussions about Brexit in public, Gavin St Pier is encouraging businesses to make contact for information and support.

Financial services businesses should make contact with Darren Stephens in the Finance Sector Development team via the gov.gg website contact page.

The full statement can be read here.

 

GIBA NEWS

GIBA would like to thank James Travers for his work as GIBA Council Secretary and inform members that Carl Rosumek has assumed those responsibilities as well as his duties as the council’s technical resource.

 

GIBA Chair Discusses the Future of the Financial Sector

Guernsey Press Q4 Business Review touches on substance, public registers, Brexit, economic growth for Guernsey and much more.

David Oxburgh, GIBA Chair, also offers his views on Guernsey’s stability as a jurisdiction, alongside the future of the local banking sector.

Read more

 

GIBA Council Meeting

The latest summary of GIBA council meeting minutes is now online in the members’ area of our website.

 

FINANCE IN THE COMMUNITY

The charitable work done by Guernsey’s finance sector continues to support many people, groups and services in the community. Follow our Twitter feed and the hashtag #GsyFinance4Community, here are just a few examples:

 

Loud Tie Day

Bowel Cancer Guernsey received some fantastic support from the industry for its annual Loud Tie Day and inaugural Skipton Smith Street Dash which saw teams from Louvre Group, Ravenscroft and Equiom Group take part.

 

Saffery Rotary Walk

A fantastic 23 local charities will benefit from this year’s Saffery Rotary Walk. It’s the sixth year that the accountancy firm has sponsored the fundraising event.

Sign up here

Read more

 

FEBRUARY DIARY DATES

14 February

ILS Insight London

Information and tickets

 

25 February

Compliance Briefing: Guernsey’s AML/CFT Handbook Updates

Information and tickets

 

26 Feb – 1 March

Super Return International

Information and tickets.

Banking Sector – Is the Future Brightening?

David Oxburgh, Chair of the Guernsey International Business Association

Guernsey’s banks remain a vital part of the island’s finance sector, with total deposits of over £90 billion being reported in the most recent statistics published on 30th September 2018.

The 23 banks in Guernsey, which employ over 1,600 island residents, are either branches or subsidiaries of the UK or international banking groups and form the backbone of our local finance sector.

The industry is hugely different now to what it was when I started working in the City more than 30 years ago, but it’s the last decade since the financial crisis where the change has been most marked.

The extremely low-interest-rate environment for much of the period since the financial crisis has necessitated considerable changes in the business models of banks, both here and internationally. Indeed although we’ve had negative interest rates in several currencies for a number of years now, I still struggle with the concept that both banks and their customers are charged interest for holding deposits in currencies such as euros and Swiss Francs, rather than receiving interest on their deposit.

When banks started being charged for holding deposits in certain currencies, it certainly made me wonder whether banking was the business to be in, but as I’ve said, business models have been changed and the industry locally has been fairly resilient through the prolonged low-interest rate environment.

Now that sterling interest rates have increased a little, some of my colleagues in the sector are starting to look slightly less gloomy than usual!  However, deposit-taking for many remains a largely unprofitable activity and for this reason, some of the local banks have been increasing their minimum balance requirements or services fees, or are requiring some profitable business, such as assets to manage, to support the provision of banking services.

These conditions, of course, have had a knock on effect to other parts of the sector and are resulting in some fiduciary providers reviewing their models for banking and investment management providers.

When reviewing the Guernsey Financial Services Commission’s (GFSC) statistics for banking it is interesting to note that whilst many of the asset categories are relatively stable, there has been a steady increase in the amount of residential property lending provided by Guernsey banks in recent years with £6.3 billion of such lending in September 2018 compared with £4.4 billion in September 2014.

As in many parts of Guernsey’s finance sector, there is an increasing focus on developing and improving digital channels and on innovating more generally. In my mind, that’s encouraging as Guernsey’s finance sector, and in turn, the island’s economy and the government’s tax take, does best when we’re innovating. Our relatively small size and the close working together of industry, government, the regulator and the promotional agency should allow us to be agile and capitalise on opportunities as they come along.

The financial sector policy framework published in the Autumn set out an approach to creating leadership for Guernsey’s finance sector built on a range of global specialisms. The five key action areas are:

– Green and sustainable finance

– Family office and private wealth services

– Fintech: electronic AML and distributed ledger technology

– Funds: global distribution and product development

– Wealth management, investment and brokerage services

The first area of focus has been on green and sustainable finance. We’re just getting started, and already Guernsey has the world’s first regulated green fund regime, the International Stock Exchange has launched TISE Green, and the regulator is consulting on green insurance. It’s clearly early days but initial signs are encouraging, so I’m hoping the co-ordinated and targeted approach on the five areas I’ve outlined will help deliver the intended growth and sustainable long term future for the finance sector, of which the banking sub-sector is such an integral part.

Taking this together with the stability we offer as a jurisdiction at this time of uncertainty and change I believe the future for Guernsey’s banks and its finance sector as a whole is positive – and more so than it has been for some time now.

Economic Development and Guernsey Finance Publish Finance Sector Policy Framework

The Committee for Economic Development and Guernsey Finance have today published a Policy Framework to support the growth of Guernsey’s finance sector.

The Policy Framework lays out a clear approach to positioning Guernsey as a financial services jurisdiction, and to supporting the finance sector in creating growth and developing a sustainable long-term future for the sector. It forms part of the economic development strategy set out by the Committee for Economic Development and approved by the States in June 2018. It has been developed by Guernsey Finance in partnership with businesses, with the support of the Guernsey International Business Association and its member associations, through working groups comprising industry, government and the regulator to ensure a consistent and common jurisdiction-wide approach

The Policy Framework sets out an approach to create leadership for Guernsey’s finance sector built on a range of global specialisms. It will build on the qualities and strengths that have made Guernsey a successful global finance centre. It will also enable government, Guernsey Finance, industry and regulator to work together to put in place the necessary elements for Guernsey’s continued success in global financial services.

In line with the economic development strategy, the priorities remain:

1. Green and sustainable finance;

2. Family office and private wealth services;

3. Fintech: electronic AML and distributed ledger technology;

4. Funds: global distribution and product development; and

5. Wealth management, investment and brokerage services.

The Policy Framework also incorporates approaches and objectives to other sectors including insurance and pensions as well as setting out a clear geographic focus for development.

Each key priority area already has an established working group and policy statements on a scope of work and objectives have either been published or will soon be published.

Deputy Charles Parkinson, President of the Committee for Economic Development commented:

“Financial services are the engine of our economy. A decade after the financial crisis and with Brexit looming, we felt it was right to review our strategy for the finance sector in Guernsey. In late 2017 the government and Guernsey Finance agreed to work together more closely to do that, the objective being to develop a strategy for the future.

“This Policy Framework for financial services is the outcome of that work. It sets out our priorities, principles, objectives and approach to deliver continued growth and innovation in the sector going forward, and demonstrates that Guernsey remains a premier league finance centre that is avowedly open for business.”

Lyndon Trott, Chairman of Guernsey Finance said: “Guernsey’s specialist finance sector plays an important role in the global economy. We connect global investors and markets, successfully facilitating international capital flows and trade. We have proven our credentials as a responsible, global finance centre time and time again, and possess an impeccable track record and commitment to transparency.

“The global economy continues to provide challenge and opportunity. Competition is fiercer, the regulatory environment tougher. We are not complacent because we know that to remain successful, we must ensure that we continue to create the best conditions on island for firms to succeed. To do that, it is important that we set out this clear strategy for future competitiveness.”

David Oxburgh, Chairman of the Guernsey International Business association (GIBA) said:

“The new policy framework and the work streams within it have been informed through close engagement with industry on opportunities for the finance sector. GIBA and its members welcome this approach, and although the Policy Framework is being formally published this week, work is already moving forward – for example on green finance.

“The finance sector is the engine of the Guernsey economy, creating jobs and generating revenue to fund our island’s public services. GIBA welcomes the approach of Guernsey Finance and the Committee for Economic Development to build a partnership with industry in order to grow the finance sector, which in turn will deliver sustainable benefits and prosperity to Guernsey.”

A steering group, chaired by Andy Sloan, Deputy Chief Executive – Strategy, Guernsey Finance, will:

· Advise on the ongoing development of strategy and recommended policy developments in meeting the objectives of the policy framework;

· Review progress on the actions set out in the policy framework; and

· Report on progress to the Committee for Economic Development and the Finance Sector Forum, the regular monthly meeting which brings together the finance sector and government.

This group will also look to ensure that its approach is aligned with the work of the various government steering groups in other areas such as Digital Guernsey. The steering group’s first meeting will be in January 2019.