English speaking, Guernsey is one of the world’s most sophisticated and secure international finance centres with a financial services sector that has been expanding since the late 1970’s and which has developed into a mature, well experienced industry.
Guernsey is in the same time zone as London and frequent air links to London and other United Kingdom airports permit one-day business trips.
The island has its own parliament, The States of Deliberation, which is democratically elected. Whilst political parties are a recent introduction to Guernsey, the island is not prone to pendulum swings in regime or policy. The States is responsible for domestic affairs, its economy and tax regime. Guernsey enjoys full fiscal autonomy in tax and regulatory matters and there has been a flat rate of personal income tax, at 20 per cent, for several decades. There are no capital gains or inheritance taxes in Guernsey. The rate of corporation tax is 0 per cent, except for certain types of regulated business and Guernsey source property income.
As a Crown Dependency, the Island’s ties to the UK are through the Crown rather than the British Parliament, where Guernsey has no representation.
Day to day responsibility for the regulation of the finance sector rests with the Guernsey Financial Services Commission which was established under the Financial Services Commission (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 1987 with general and statutory responsibilities. The Commission was one of the world’s first such unitary bodies and now governs accountants, banks, company administrators, directors, estate agents, insurers, insurance intermediaries, investment firms and intermediaries, and trust administrators.
The Commission ensures that the providers of financial services in the island carry out their business to established international standards. In addition to general powers of supervision, the Commission has statutory powers to enforce compliance with the laws regulating the conduct of finance business in Guernsey. The Commission’s main task under these laws is to ensure that all those institutions authorised to carry on finance business in the island are fit and proper. This concept embraces integrity, competence and solvency. Institutions must also comply with international anti-money laundering requirements.
The images used throughout this website offer a selection of island scenes.