Total deposits held with Guernsey banks at the end of March 1999 increased 2.1% by £1,118 million from the end of 1998 to reach a record level of £54,040 million.

The increase was recorded across a range of banks both in sterling and foreign currency deposits - mainly USD, EUR and CHF. The foreign currency element is boosted when expressed in sterling due to the weakening of the pound against the US dollar over the quarter although this was tempered slightly by sterling's appreciation against the euro. However even allowing for these factors there was growth in the underlying figures. The currency breakdown is split 35% sterling and 65% other currency deposits. The largest single currency type within the total deposits remains USD at 46%. The euro and the euro legacy currencies accounted for over 13% of deposits at the quarter end.

Local inter-bank activity was down £115 million in the quarter.

There was one new licence issued during the quarter, to a branch of the Swiss bank, EFG Private Bank SA, while the licence of Credit Suisse First Boston AG, a branch of a Swiss owned German bank, was surrendered as a result of a group restructuring. However neither of these influenced this quarter's figures.

Philip Marr, Director of Banking says

"It is encouraging that deposit levels have held up above the £50 billion mark and, indeed, have continued to grow. This would seem to offer further confirmation of depositors' confidence in Guernsey as an offshore finance centre.".

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