Guernsey is set to flourish post-Brexit

30 January 2020

Written by Dr Andy Sloan Guernsey Finance Dr Andy Sloan

Big Ben may not be ringing in celebration tomorrow evening but Britain will go ahead and leave the European Union at 11pm. Guernsey Finance Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy, Dr Andy Sloan thinks the move will be positive one for Guernsey over the next decade, with continuity and certainty of market access for Guernsey funds among the big positives.

Take a look at our blog to see why Dr Andy Sloan thinks the move will be positive one for Guernsey over the next decade, with continuity and certainty of market access for Guernsey funds among the big positives.

It’s Brexit week and I’ve been posting regularly the message that, going into the transition, our continuity and certainty of market access are our big plusses for Guernsey.

Nearly 18 months ago, in a LinkedIn article on Brexit and the Channel Islands, I wrote the following:

"It’s quite likely that in providing a safe, secure haven from the uncertainties of Brexit and beyond, to those looking for a stable, continuing platform to access the EU28 today, and the UK and EU27 tomorrow, the finance sectors of the Channel Islands experience a boost to their business as their third country status remains unchanged throughout the process."

The recent publication of Monterey Insight’s annual investment funds report describing Guernsey’s performance as a ‘return to strong growth’ is testament to the veracity of that view. Karine Pacary, Managing Director of Monterey Insight, said: "Guernsey demonstrated strong returns during the last year and managed to once again attract major players to launch their private equity funds."

That success is built on a bedrock of strong service levels, maintenance of a competitive sector and a commitment to meeting international standards of regulation, tax transparency and, now, economic substance.

Alongside that short-term view, two summers ago, I outlined five probable factors for a positive Brexit for the Channel Islands’ finance sectors in the long term:

  • The EU would not be able to create a single capital market providing a practical alternative to London
  • The additional layer of regulation ‘at the European level’ would ultimately undermine the competitiveness of the EU finance sector
  • Eurozone structural imbalances would take decades to unwind
  • UK financial services would rediscover its internationalist DNA
  • The City would remember the ‘competitive complementarity’ of the Channel Islands

With the recent return of QE to the Eurozone, it’s clear the imbalance issue isn’t improving any time soon, and there’s been little evidence of greater efficiency of EU capital markets in the last 18 months.

On our economic role, speaking on international trade in financial services at Guernsey Finance’s Funds Masterclass last Autumn, Anjalika Bardalai, Chief Economist at TheCityUK, publicly testified that: ‘Guernsey acts as a conduit for investment to the UK from other countries’. 

Recent output from the TheCityUK suggests a greater ‘internationalism’ emerging and the signs are also positive on an improvement in our competitiveness relative to the EU. Duff & Phelps reported growing concerns with the cost of, and impact on, the competitiveness of EU regulations – a trend we reported emerging this time last year through our own research.

To these five factors I now add a sixth – that Guernsey emerges as a truly leading centre for sustainable finance.

2019 was a year of significant progress – the launch of our green finance initiative; creation of green product with TISE Green and the Guernsey Green Fund regime; international engagement, with the UN and others, including the UK Green Finance Institute; and the steady development of a local ecosystem in sustainable finance.

I am confident that our commitment and strategic action will enable Guernsey to play a leading role in the global development of sustainable finance and this, together with these five Brexit factors, our stability and security and our commitment to meeting international regulatory, tax transparency and economic substance standards, will ensure Guernsey’s finance sector flourishes in the post-Brexit decade.  

The link to my original article is here:

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