The Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey have both reported increases in funds under management for the first quarter of this year.
Statistics collated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission and released this week show Jersey’s finance industry posted a 1% gain in the value of funds under administration, to to £228.4bn from £225.8bn, at the end of December. This was the second-highest total it has reached since March 2009, the JFSC data showed.
New figures from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, meanwhile, show that, at the end of March, the net asset value of all funds under management and administration on the island stood at £238bn – an increase of £15.8bn, or 7.1% – on the same point in 2015.
Banking deposits in Jersey also increased, by £1.9bn or 1.5%, during Q1, to total £128.4bn at the end of March, according to the latest data.
The corporate sector in Jersey has also seen the number of “live” companies rise to 33,335, nearly 500 more businesses, or 1.5% more than than at the same point in 2015.
Richard Corrigan, deputy chief executive of Jersey Finance, said it was encouraging to see that Jersey’s funds sector had remained buoyant during this period.
“Overall, the figures paint an upbeat picture and sit well with our ongoing compliance,” he said.
Guernsey Finance chief executive Dominic Wheatley also said that he found it “encouraging” that the Guernsey funds business remains robust at a time of “difficult trading conditions”, adding that he was pleased to see a return to positive growth in the open-ended funds sector.
“The latest figures mark the third consecutive quarter that we have seen an overall increase in the value of funds under management,” he said
Wheatley also pointed that Guernsey practitioners are reporting a rise in interest in the funds arena.
“New schemes, launched in the first quarter of 2016 and the fourth quarter of 2015 and including those migrating to Guernsey such as VinaCapital and SafeCharge, underline the market’s confidence in Guernsey as a jurisdiction,” he said
The figures highlighted that the value of Guernsey closed-ended funds increased by £9bn (6.4%) to £149.6bn during the first quarter – an increase of £14.7bn (10.9%) since March 2015.
The Guernsey open-ended funds sector also saw an increase. At the end of March 2016, the sector had increased in value by £1.4bn (3.6%) to £40.4 billion during the first quarter, although this represents a decrease of £0.7bn (-1.7%) on the same point in 2015.
Non-Guernsey schemes – open-ended funds that are not domiciled in Guernsey but have some aspect of their management, administration or custody carried out in the Island – remain at £48bn, an increase of £1.8bn (4.6%) for the year to the end of March 2016.
The periods covered by the figures released by both jurisdictions all pre-dated the so-called Panama Papers controversy, which errupted in early April and saw the global offshore financial services industry come under fire, after more than 1 million confidential documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca were leaked to the world’s press.
As reported, the leak revealed thousands of hidden financial transactions relating to offshore financial accounts, and led to widespread criticism of many parts of the offshore industry.