‘Firms are moving operations to islands ahead of Brexit’
GUERNSEY’S stable economic and political situation are attracting companies to move their treasury operations to the island amid the backdrop of Brexit.
Tracy Garrad, chief executive officer of HSBC Channel Islands and Isle of Man, said some of the bank’s clients were currently taking the opportunity to consider where best to place their treasury operations – which covers currency management – in a post-Brexit world.
‘We’ve certainly seen some businesses choosing to centralise their treasury operations into the Channel Islands,’ she said.
‘Some of those companies will be moving people into Guernsey or into Jersey. We’re absolutely seeing that and there’s planning going on for some of them. Some of them won’t have happened yet but they’re absolutely engaging with it.’
There ‘absolutely’ could be more people employed locally as a result, she added.
‘Often a treasury operation within a multi-national, whether it’s scaled just in Europe or internationally, it might be only two or three people.
‘But nonetheless that’s two or three people whose roles may well have been in London or in France or somewhere else.’
Ms Garrad also sounded an upbeat note on Brexit, saying: ‘I don’t see Brexit particularly as a threat for the Channel Islands’ economies and businesses.
‘What I see is that we are already uniquely positioned with strong international trading agreements, including financial services.
‘I see really active engagement and management by the governments of all of the islands with the European Union and the UK to manage any Brexit implications.’
The islands’ governments were also making sure that local interests of the islands were represented and that the ‘underestimated’ financial contributions they make into Europe were understood.
‘We have been trying to do our bit to help ensure that is understood within our own group, within the UK financial services industry, and use our voice when we can,’ added Ms Garrad.