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Strategy developed to power finance ‘engine’ of economy

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A BLUEPRINT to power the ‘engine’ of the Guernsey economy – the finance sector – in the coming years has been published.

Economic Development president Charles Parkinson. (22636523)

The finance sector policy framework has been developed by Economic Development and industry body Guernsey Finance with the goal of building on the industry’s existing strengths and wider trends.

It sets out priorities to ensure a flourishing sector, which include green and sustainable finance as well as family office and private wealth services. Fintech, funds – global distribution and product development – along with wealth management, investment and brokerage services have also been identified as priorities.

The framework also incorporates approaches and objectives to other sectors including insurance and pensions as well as setting out a clear geographic focus for development.

It forms part of the economic development strategy set out by Economic Development and approved by the States in June 2018. The strategy has been developed by Guernsey Finance in partnership with business through working groups – made up of industry, government and the regulator – to ensure a jurisdiction-wide approach.

‘Financial services are the engine of our economy. A decade after the financial crisis and with Brexit looming, we felt it was right to review our strategy for the finance sector in Guernsey,’ said Charles Parkinson, president of Economic Development.

‘It sets out our priorities, principles, objectives and approach to deliver continued growth and innovation in the sector going forward, and demonstrates that Guernsey remains a premier league finance centre that is avowedly open for business.’

Deputy Lyndon Trott, Guernsey Finance chairman, said the island’s specialist finance sector played an important role in the global economy, connecting investors and markets. Guernsey also had proven its credentials as a responsible global finance centre with an ‘impeccable’ track record and commitment to transparency.

‘The global economy continues to provide challenge and opportunity.

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‘Competition is fiercer, the regulatory environment tougher,’ he added.

‘We are not complacent because we know that to remain successful, we must ensure that we continue to create the best conditions on-island for firms to succeed. To do that, it is important that we set out this clear strategy for future competitiveness.’

David Oxburgh, chairman of the Guernsey International Business Association, said the framework and work streams within it had been informed through close engagement with industry on opportunities for the finance sector.

With work already moving forward, including on green finance, he added: ‘Giba welcomes the approach of Guernsey Finance and the Committee for Economic Development to build a partnership with industry in order to grow the finance sector, which in turn will deliver sustainable benefits and prosperity to Guernsey.’

A steering group, chaired by Andy Sloan, deputy chief executive, strategy, Guernsey Finance, will advise on the ongoing development of strategy and report on progress to Economic Development and the finance sector forum. Its first meeting will be in January next year.

It will also look to ensure its approach is aligned with other government steering groups, such as Digital Guernsey.

Will Green

By Will Green
Business Editor

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