08 Apr 2024

'A positive start to 2024': Q1 update with Rupert Pleasant 

Off the back of a busy start to 2024, Guernsey Finance Chief Executive Rupert Pleasant shares his reflections on the first quarter of the year. 

It has been a very eventful and positive start to 2024. At our Industry Update in January, attended by more than 350 professionals from across the island’s financial services industry, we launched our Frontier Economics Report titled “The Value of Guernsey’s Financial Services Industry to the UK Economy.” A few noteworthy headlines are below: 

  • Guernsey channels £57 billion of international capital investment from around the world into the UK.
  • Guernsey-based funds’ capital investment into UK assets has increased by 14% per year since 2020.

  • UK fund managers generate £2 billion of fees annually from Guernsey-based funds. This income generates additional tax revenue for the UK of around £7 billion per annum, as well as a social value of approximately £3-4 billion every year for the UK. 

  • UK FTSE 100 companies may collectively save almost £100 million per year by using Guernsey captive insurance structures. 

  • Guernsey international pensions generate approximately £30 million per year in total for UK professional services firms and investment managers.  

The findings of the report have been both impressive and persuasive and they have been a significant talking point at many events I have attended in the UK in the first quarter of the year including at the TheCityUK Annual Dinner, the BVCA Chair’s Dinner and the IFC Forum. 

In February, Guernsey hosted Greg Hands MP, Minister of State for Trade Policy as well as the Dutch Ambassador, His Excellency Karel van Oosterom. It is great to have up-to-date and compelling data to hand to show just how important Guernsey remains to the UK economy, and our ongoing green and sustainable initiatives were a key discussion point with the Dutch Ambassador. We also hosted Miles Celic, the CEO of TheCityUK where we reaffirmed the very strong business links between our respective organisations and the jurisdictions that we represent. 

Continuing a positive note for Q1, it was confirmed that: 

  • the island had maintained its investment grade rating with Standard & Poor's 

  • Guernsey retained its top spot as Europe’s largest captive domicile and  

  • Guernsey achieved EU data adequacy status, being confirmed by the European Union as having proportionate, robust and well-implemented privacy laws for islanders and businesses. 

March has been another busy month, and I was delighted to attend a Guernsey Finance Roadshow in South Africa as part of a private wealth delegation, visiting industry leaders in Johannesburg and Cape Town. There is a strong link between Guernsey and South Africa which has been forged over the best part of 40 years, with the island facilitating capital flows into Southern Africa and providing a bastion of safety, security and stability for private wealth. 

The final event for the quarter was a joint initiative between the GFSC and Guernsey Finance within the Palace of Westminster. A strong delegation from Guernsey including the Lieutenant-Governor, Lieutenant General Richard Cripwell, the Chief Minister, Lyndon Trott, the Director General of the GFSC, William Mason and myself, hosted a reception in the House of Lords for a select group of MPs, Peers and dignitaries. Once again, our Frontier Economics report was front and centre and discussions centred on our place in the world, our constitutional autonomy and the upcoming election. This was an ideal opportunity to discuss Guernsey’s relationship with the UK at the very highest level, and we will be holding similar events later in the year.