Guernsey’s mature banking sector is central to its reputation as a leading international finance centre.

International banking groups with head offices in Switzerland, Europe, USA, the United Kingdom and a number of other international locations have established subsidiaries on the Island. Some of the most highly respected names in institutional finance have chosen to place their operations in Guernsey alongside independent, boutique providers.

The sector provides products ranging from retail banking and savings through international wealth management to institutional business. Importantly it services the other financial services sectors (trust, insurance, investment funds) on the Island.

The first bank to be established on the Island was the Guernsey Savings Bank, which was founded in 1822. However, banking in Guernsey was purely domestic and largely conducted by the major British high street clearing banks until the mid-1960s when a clutch of merchant banks established subsidiary operations in the Island to relay the benefits of offshore banking to their international clients.

Today, specialised banking is a developing feature of the banking sector. UK Building Societies and International Banks have been assisted in setting up operations by having their entities administered by an already established bank. While maintaining a managerial presence these banks make use of the experienced staff, premises and IT systems of a managing bank while maintaining their own individual identity.

Financial services businesses, corporations, trusts and funds as well as individual savers from around the world have chosen to place their money and confidence in the many banking services the Island’s sector has to offer:

  • Savings – Guernsey banks offer a variety of savings options with competitive offshore rates
  • Credit services – a growing feature of wealth management by private banks has been bespoke and tax efficient lending for property finance, venture capital and investment
  • Treasury services – specialised money market and foreign exchange services are provided by a number of highly experienced and financially innovative teams
  • Custody services – confidential and efficient asset management has been a mainstay of Guernsey’s banking reputation
  • Specialist advice and services – as part of the sector’s complementary role to other businesses within Guernsey’s financial services industry, banks offer advice in respect of the formation and management of various types of Guernsey companies, mutual funds, captive insurance companies and acquiring listings on the Channel Islands Stock Exchange (CISX)

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