Guernsey has seen a “notable inward migration of companies, funds and other structures” in the first six months of this year, financial industry executives said today.
In a statement, they noted that there were 32 company migrations onto the island of Guernsey during the first six months of the year, as 15 companies migrated out, according to the Guernsey Registry, which is responsible for tracking migrations both in and out of the island.
This, they noted, represented a net inward migration of 17 companies moving their domicile to Guernsey so far this year.in the first half of 2017, according to the latest figures.
The news comes days after the island’s regulator, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, announced that it is looking to increase by 3% the licence fees it charges island financial services businesses, citing the uncertainty and other concerns that have resulted since the UK voted to leave the EU last year.
One reason for this proposed increase, according to an article in the Guernsey Press newspaper on Monday, is because of concerns that the number of licensees that actually contribute to the industry’s pot “is expect[ed] to fall in 2017 to £12.86m, and then rise by perhaps as little as £16,000 in 2018”.
Net growth cited last year
In today’s statement, however, Guernsey Finance, which represents the island’s financial services industry, noted that there were a total of 83 company migrations to Guernsey last year, “and only 26 migrations out”, for a net growth of 57 companies.
The statement quotes Guernsey Registry’s registrar Alan Bougourd as noting that the migrations seen thus far this year “ranged from investment holding companies, fiduciary and nominee companies” to “limited partners and loan administrators”.
“The registry is noticing a flight-to-quality and receiving positive feedback on the ease of the migration process and the responsiveness of the registry to the applications received,” Bougourd noted.
Guernsey Finance chief executive Dominic Wheatley said the inward migration of companies to Guernsey was to be expected at a time when increased global scrutiny of standards of transparency and regulation had been pushed to the forefront of clients’ minds, since “Guernsey is a jurisdiction people respect and are comfortable with”. It also has a reputation for transparency and complying with regulations, as well as for an “ability to respond quickly to changing market demands”, he pointed out.
According to Guernsey Finance, Guernsey has more than 1,000 investment funds domiciled or serviced in the island, 150 licensed fiduciaries, and 800 licensed insurance vehicles.