The signing of a series of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with Chinese regulators and industry associations has been the main catalyst for Guernsey to develop business with Chinese service providers and clients over the past ten years.
Guernsey recently marked its decade in the region with a series of events celebrating the anniversary of the opening of Guernsey’s representative office in Shanghai, and says that MoUs have underpinned its development.
Guernsey Finance said in a statement that Guernsey had signed MoUs with all of China’s financial services regulators and as many as ten MoUs and cooperation statements with industry bodies, representative associations and other agencies.
Keijan Chao, who is deputy director of Shanghai Municipal Government Huangpu District in charge of Financial Services, said at a recent event held by Guernsey Finance in Shanghai that the MoUs had led to “a strong bond” between the two jurisdictions.
“The relationship is close and well developed because it has been approached from a very high level in terms of government, regulator and industry cooperation,” Chao said.
Similarly, Yongjie Liu of Beijing Airport Captive Management Consulting (BACMC) also highlighted the importance of the MoUs as he discussed establishing a captive insurance joint venture with Guernsey.
“There are only eight captive structures in China and the threshold is too high to set up a captive,” he said. “Guernsey can get it done more efficiently. Guernsey is also a centre of innovation, having developed the PCC structure in 1997 that can now be used in many sectors such as capital markets, trusts and insurance.”
Connie Lee of Dunhuang Wealth, a family office and corporate services provider, said at the event that she is currently in discussions with Guernsey-based Concept Group about providing additional private client services. Concept has experience of working with several Asia-based businesses and is already in the process of providing training sessions in China, Guernsey Finance said.
“Three years ago, the idea of a trust was at a relatively junior stage in China but there has been a major qualitative change in how they are now perceived. I am very positive about the future prospects of Guernsey trusts in China,” Lee said.
Guernsey Finance China Representative Wendy Weng, pictured left, who was presented with a certificate to recognise her ten years with the promotional agency, said that Guernsey had made “great strides” in China during Guernsey Finance’s ten years in the region and that this has led to more and more institutions from the country doing business with the island.
The Chinese market was using Guernsey companies and products to take its market to a higher level, especially in the family office space, Weng added, saying “For example, prior to opting to work with Guernsey, Connie Lee had spent three years investigating which jurisdiction to use and came to the conclusion that her fiduciary business and its clients would be best served by working with Guernsey.”