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News Guernsey cements relationships in China

Representatives from Guernsey Finance visited China last month to further strengthen relationships in the country. Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, and Fiona Le Poidevin, Deputy Chief Executive, spent two days in Shanghai and three days in Beijing. Their itinerary included a visit to the island’s representative office, which was established in Shanghai at the end of 2007, as well as meetings with several Chinese banks, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE), the China Trustee Association and the Shanghai Bar Association. The pair also visited the Shanghai operations of law firm Ogier and fund administrator International Administration Group (IAG), who have both established a presence in the city during this year. “We have made real progress in increasing awareness of the Guernsey brand, and

this is now being assisted by the growing number of firms with a base in the island who are establishing operations in the Far East, and China in particular,” said Niven. He also highlighted the meeting with the CBRC as another step on the road to

signing an MoU with the island’s financial services regulator, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC). It is expected that Vice Chairman Wang Zhaoxing will visit Guernsey later this year to sign the agreement. l

New TIeAs for Guernsey

Guernsey recently signed Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) with the Czech Republic and the Bahamas. These are bilateral agreements developed and recognised by the OECD as being the international standard for the effective exchange of tax information. On 15 September, Chief Minister

Lyndon Trott signed the Czech TIEA at the Republic’s Embassy in London. The Bahamas TIEA was signed in August. The signing of these two agreements brings the total number of TIEAs signed by Guernsey to 28. “Guernsey is resolutely committed

to meeting international standards of tax transparency, and the signature of these agreements further enables us to do so,” said Chief Minister Trott. “I am particularly delighted that, with the completion of the Czech agreement, Guernsey has now signed TIEAs with 18 members of the OECD”. l

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Guernsey leads the way for QROPs

Data from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) shows that during the first half of this year there were more pension transfers into Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) in Guernsey than any other jurisdiction globally. The HMRC figures show that of the total number of pension transfers out of the UK

into QROPS between 1 January 2011 and 30 June 2011, 32 per cent went into QROPS based in Guernsey. New Zealand was the second most popular destination at 28 per cent, with Australia third at 20 per cent, and the Isle of Man at five per cent. Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, said: “Since the QROPS regime

was established back in 2006, it has been clear from anecdotal evidence that the industry has seen massive growth, and that Guernsey has become one of the leading jurisdictions globally. However, our understanding of the market has been limited by the lack of independent data. Therefore, the publication of these figures is long overdue but hugely welcome, and of course it is very pleasing to see that Guernsey leads the way in the numbers of transfers at the present time.” l

captive success Guernsey’s position as one of the world’s leading captive insurance domiciles has been reinforced by the results of a new study into the sector. Trade magazine Strategic Risk has carried out a practitioner survey and published the results in a special supplement, which accompanies the September 2011 issue. The results show that more respondents (24 per cent) have their captives in Guernsey than any other domicile. Captive owners who use Guernsey recognise the island’s expertise in the sector, its strong links with London and the pragmatic attitude of the regulator, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC). Guernsey’s decision to not yet seek equivalence with Solvency II has the backing of owners with captives in the island. l

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