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June Industry News Round-Up

GIBA’s monthly news round-up keeps you abreast of Guernsey’s latest news affecting the finance sector and our member organisations.

 

BUSINESS NEWS

Policy & Resources Vice President Welcomes EU Guidance on Economic Substance

Work by the States of Guernsey with the Code Group and the EU Commission means the island’s voice has been heard on the issue of economic substance.

Whilst businesses in Guernsey could face additional local tax reporting requirements, the guidance note has been welcomed by Deputy Lyndon Trott.

The impact on business of any such potential extra requirements could be limited, according to Jo Huxtable of Deloitte. She said the EU appeared to take a proportionate approach to economic substance in its latest guidance note on the issue.

Read more

 

Guernsey Hosts 30th British-Irish Council Summit

The British-Irish Council re-emphasised the importance of constitutional relationships being respected at the British-Irish Council Summit in Guernsey earlier this month.

Deputy Gavin St Pier, President of Guernsey’s Policy & Resources Committee, and Deputy Barry Brehaut, President of the Committee for Environment & Infrastructure, hosted the meetings at the Summit, which focused on political developments within BIC Member Administrations, Brexit and a discussion on marine environment initiatives and policies.

Read more

 

Concerns Raised Over High-Quality Business Education

GIBA’s Chair David Oxburgh has directly raised concerns about the future of the GTA University Centre with Education, Sport & Culture President, Deputy Matt Fallaize.

The exchange came during an event organised by the local branch of the Institute of Directors at which Deputy Fallaize was the guest speaker and he outlined his committee’s plans to overhaul the education system. The GTA currently offers various courses that meet the needs of the local industry, from Director Development and Finance to Leadership & Management and Law.

Read more


GIBA Supports Review of Air Transport Licensing as Airlinks are Put in the Spotlight

The Committee for Economic Development announced new plans to move to a ‘quasi open skies’ policy.

This change could lead to more flights to more destinations. The committee proposed that Gatwick and Alderney should be classed as lifeline routes, but the Alderney to Southampton link would be outside this regime.

If the States agrees, the new approach will begin as soon as the committee backs new regulations which have been drafted. A review would take place within five years.

According to GIBA Chairman David Oxburgh, the move to an ‘open skies’ policy for all other than the Gatwick and Alderney routes is a very definite step in the right direction for the island’s air links.

This month Aurigny released its annual report and accounts for 2017, which show reported losses of £5.19m, on par with the year before.

Aurigny’s Chief Executive Andrew Haining said investment in the airline’s ageing fleet  could reduce unplanned maintenance costs and fog delays.

Read the Review of Air Transport Licensing

Read GIBA’s response to the review of the Air Transport Licensing Policy letter

Read Aurigny’s Annual Report & Accounts

 

Insurance Industry Heads to AIRMIC

A dozen Guernsey insurance representatives attended this year’s annual conference of AIRMIC, the Association of Insurance and Risk Managers in Industry and Commerce.

The three-day event was held in Liverpool and is seen as an important fixture in the industry’s calendar. The Guernsey Finance stand was represented by Derek Maddison from Marsh and Chairman of the Guernsey International Insurance Association, Mike Johns of Willis Towers Watson, Brendan Reeves of ARM and James Falla from Guernsey Finance.

 

GIBA NEWS

 

Technical Status Report Published

Individual and corporate members of GIBA’s member associations are reminded that our latest technical status report can be found in the members area of the GIBA website. You can request a password to access this section by contacting your member association.


GIBA speaks to Peter Child, Chairman of GIIA Market Development Committee

‘There have always been threats to our business environment, but we have done more than just survive these challenges, we’ve flourished,’ said Peter Child, GIIA Market Development Committee Chairman in a discussion with us.

You can read the full interview here


GIBA Responds to Proposed Changes to Probate Arrangements

David Oxburgh, GIBA Chairman, has responded positively to proposed changes to probate arrangements:

‘GIBA welcomes the statement from Gavin St Pier, President of Policy & Resources, advising of the plans to move the probate jurisdiction from the Ecclesiastical Court to the Royal Court and is particularly encouraged by the target date for this change of 1 January 2019.’

Read GIBA’s Statement here


FINANCE IN THE COMMUNITY

Our Twitter feed this month has been swamped with events and activities being sponsored by firms in the finance sector and related professional services.  

Check them out using the hashtag #GsyFinance4Community and you’ll see what we mean! Just to give you a flavour of what’s been happening, we’re including a couple of stories below.


Guernsey Sports Commission ‘Welcomes £200k in Funds’

Education, Sport & Culture announced earlier this month that it would provide £200,000 a year to the PE in Schools programme.

It currently receives half of that sum and is run and funded by the Guernsey Sports Commission through corporate sponsorship.

Read more


Sun of a Gun wins 2018 Carey Olsen Inter-Island Yacht Race

Guernsey yacht Sun of a Gun was the big winner at the 2018 Carey Olsen Inter-Island Yacht Race on Saturday 9 June.

The race, which alternates its start and finish between Guernsey and Jersey on an annual basis, this year ran from Guernsey to Jersey and attracted 68 entries, ranging from sports catamarans to family cruisers.

Read more

GIBA Statement in Response to the Proposed Changes to Probate Arrangements

28/06/18 –GIBA Chairman, David Oxburgh responds to the proposed changes to probate arrangements

Click here to download

GIBA Member Focus: The Guernsey International Insurance Association

The Guernsey International Insurance Association (GIIA) was formed in 1983 to represent the combined interests of both Guernsey insurers and Guernsey insurance managers.

GIBA talks to Peter Child, Chairman of the GIIA Market Development Committee, about the sector and its future.

 

What is the key message you can give your industry at this time?

Guernsey is unique because it has such a wide and varied financial services sector. Many of our competitors do not have the complex infrastructure that we have.

We have a unique position in offshore finance centres, which we need to take advantage of as an industry. We haven’t adequately leveraged our level of expertise, and we can all play a part in doing so by working more closely together.

 

We’re living in a world of uncertainty. How would you describe the current state of the international insurance industry in Guernsey?

I think it’s pretty robust at the moment. Historically, this sector has been a slow burner when compared to others in financial services.

Since the late 1970s insurance has grown at a pretty consistent and steady pace year on year, and we’re still the smallest of the four main sectors. However, we continue to grow because we have a reliable business model that retains clients comparatively easily.

We have a diverse set of products that we’re able to offer to a wide range of global clients; however, there are threats.

For example, one of the challenges we face is increased scrutiny from international agencies, and misconceptions can be equally frustrating. There is a continuing perception by UK tax authorities that a captive insurance company will only be set up for tax reasons. That’s completely untrue as there are no tax benefits; pretty much everything we do is tax neutral. There are currently ongoing cases with HMRC that challenge its interpretation of Diverted Profits Tax and its application to Guernsey-based captive insurance companies. As things stand we are very hopeful that this one bête noire will soon be laid to rest.

 

Is growth slowing down?

No, it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. There are always innovations that come into the insurance world and, although we lump them together as ‘international insurance’, different products are being sold all the time that ensure growth.

If we go back to the late 1990s, it was protected cell captives – micro-captives for businesses who couldn’t afford captives on their own. More recently there’s been growth in insurance-linked securities and in the pensions longevity business.

So, there are always little niches that come along and help us grow. The captive insurance business remains fairly robust despite insurance premium tax increases.

 

How will Brexit impact on the sector?

It might give us more opportunities to align more closely with the UK and Gibraltar, with the potential to offer insurance products into the UK from Guernsey, which would be exciting.

We’re used to being outside the EU, because we have no passporting rights under EU legislation, so we might be able to share our experience with the UK following its transition.

 

How is new technology changing your industry?

I’m potentially excited about how this area of the industry will evolve. The new online insurance providers liberate companies from having to be in a particular location, particularly if they’re providing a technological interface between the end consumer and the insurance provider.

As an island, we’re geographically dislocated so for us the potential use of technology to get our products out to customers, wherever they might be in the world, could be exciting.

At the moment I am not aware of any particular insurance-based tech products in Guernsey that are making waves, but you never know. I’m sure there will be some development reaching fruition in the future.

 

With an eye to the future, is the recruitment of young people easy for the sector?

No, it’s not easy. We have programmes to bring young local people into our business and train them up to be the leaders of the future.

I think there are good intelligent, driven and motivated local people who, given a chance, can lead this industry in the years to come.

 

Is captive insurance still the biggest engine for driving the sector forward?

No, it’s not the biggest engine for growth, but it’s the foundation on which our business relies. It’s an extremely ‘sticky’ business: complex, and not the easiest to keep servicing correctly, but the sector does a pretty good job.

We’ve always carved out a place in the world as being particularly proficient at servicing captive insurance. However, various macroeconomic factors mean the captive insurance sector is currently not as compelling a proposition as it has been.

As a whole, the macro-insurance market has been incredibly ‘soft’ for a number of years because, as an investment class, insurance is more attractive than it has been. Not only are investors investing in something that diversifies investment risk, but also over a number of years, until the hurricanes of 2018, insurance as an asset class had shown decent returns year on year. This keeps the price of insurance down within the retail market. Captive insurers want the retail market to be, at least, comparatively expensive because it then makes sense for our clients to take their own risk in their insurance vehicles rather than transferring it to the third-party market. There are however genuine signs that the market is beginning to harden, which could be a fillip for captive growth.

 

Are you optimistic about Guernsey’s future?

Yes, absolutely. There have always been threats to our business environment, but we have done more than just survive these challenges, we’ve flourished. I’m confident that the same will happen again.

Statement in Response to the Review of Air Transport Licensing Policy Letter

11th June 2018 – GIBA Chairman, David Oxburgh responds to the Review of Air Transport Licensing Policy Letter

Click here to download

May Industry News Round-Up

GIBA’s monthly news round-up keeps you abreast of Guernsey’s latest news affecting the finance sector and our member organisations.

GIBA NEWS

Thank You to Patrick Firth

The GIBA council would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Patrick Firth, who stepped down from the GIBA Council in May after a term of nine years.

Patrick has made a significant contribution over the years to both GIBA and the Guernsey finance sector. A qualified Chartered Accountant and member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, he has worked in the fund industry in Guernsey since 1992.

Patrick, a former Managing Director of Butterfield Fund Services (Guernsey) Limited was GIBA Chairman from March 2015 until April 2017, has continued to play a vital role in its development since and serves on the board of Guernsey Finance.

GIBA Responds to Economic Development Policy Letter

Bolstering the finance industry, developing new markets and improving transport links are just some of 20 actions the Committee for Economic Development has outlined in its proposed strategy in the policy letter published earlier this month.

GIBA has welcomed the publication of the policy letter and is pleased to see that whilst recognising the need to diversify the economy, the plan is not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater”, and there is clear recognition of the importance of the finance sector to the economy.

Read GIBA’s response to the Policy Letter.

BUSINESS NEWS

Guernsey Funds Sector Positive Despite Quarterly Fall in Net Asset Value

The GFSC’s first quarter statistics showed the net asset value of funds business in the island declined by 2.9% (£8 billion) during the quarter, with total assets under management and administration amounting to £262.5 billion.

However, the outlook remains positive with £40 billion growth over the past three years. The GFSC is also seeing an increase in applications for new funds, with a year-on-year rise to more than 110 made over the past six months.

Read more

Guernsey’s Stability and Security Highlighted at Funds Forum.

Uncertainty is a significant challenge for fund managers; however the annual Funds Forum, held earlier this month in London, highlighted Guernsey’s long-standing stability and experience in operating as a ‘third country’ outside of the EU. This position was highlighted in a wide-ranging panel discussion which also covered Donald Trump’s policies, quantitative easing and fund delegation rules.

Read more

Butterfield Bank CEO Highlights CI expansion Potential

Michael Collins, Chief Executive Officer at Butterfield Bank, has announced ambitious plans to expand the bank into the Channel Islands as he sounded an optimistic note about the future of Guernsey and Jersey as offshore financial centres.

He cited ‘thoughtful’ regulation as one of the reasons why Butterfield was looking to expand further here and noted that Guernsey stands out as having ‘one of the best regulatory regimes’ in the world.

Read more

FINANCE IN THE COMMUNITY

Finance Community Supports Record-Breaking Literary Festival

A record number of tickets were sold for this year’s Guernsey Literary Festival, which was hailed as the best event yet. The four-day arts festival was heavily supported through sponsorship from members of the finance community, including Butterfield Bank, Dorey Financial Modelling, Julius Baer, Rothschild, Odey Wealth and Praxis IFM.

Celebrating all things book-related, various St Peter Port venues, including a festival hub based in Market Square and the Guille-Alles Library, hosted a diverse range of speakers, including Terry Waite, Jenni Murray and Annie Barrows.

Read more.

Support for Grassroots Sport

The Deloitte Corbet Cup took place this month, with Guernsey Rangers claiming the Cup and Sylvans White winning the Shield. The tournament has benefited from Deloitte’s sponsorship for the past 12 years and is seen as an important stepping stone from minis into competitive youth football.

Guernsey FA Chief Executive, Gary Roberts commented: ‘The Deloitte Corbet Cup and Shield competition remains one of the most popular tournaments in local football and the growth in the number of players participating this season has led to the largest number of teams ever competing. This growth has necessitated two distinct divisions for the first time.

‘It is important to recognise and acknowledge the long-term and ongoing support that Deloitte continues to provide to local football and specifically towards these competitions, which are important in the development of Guernsey’s young players as they transition from minis into youth football.’

Read more.

DIARY DATES

Guernsey Financial Services Commission – Consultation Deadlines

12th June – GFSC – Draft Code of Market Conduct (under PoI law)

18th June – GFSC – Insurance Manager & Intermediary Approved Assets consultation paper

30th June – GFSC – Revision of Laws – Definitions – fatal flaws review

EVENTS

SoundBox Sprint – 22nd June

As part of its commitment to innovation, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission is hosting a one-day event, Friday 22 June, which will provide an opportunity for Bailiwick businesses or individuals to develop digital solutions to 3 pre-set challenges.

It is said the SoundBox Sprint ‘will provide a unique one stop access to key Bailiwick decision makers and business subject experts’, with the objective of driving forward innovative solutions to existing business issues.

Read more.