Guernsey has become the world's fourth largest captive
domicile, according to trade publication Business
Insurance (9 March 2009).
The research also shows that the Island still plays host to more
captives than any other jurisdiction in Europe.
"This is obviously very good news," said Peter Niven,
Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance – the promotional
agency for the Island's finance industry.
"Guernsey has a long and proud history as a captive
domicile. We have been the pre-eminent jurisdiction in Europe for a
good number of years now and it is great to comfortably retain that
position. The Island has also been recognised for some time as a
world-leader so it is extremely pleasing to move into fourth place
based on numbers of captives.
"I think it underlines how clients are attracted to
Guernsey by the fact our heritage has grown an industry that is
renowned for its robust yet pragmatic regulation and significant
experience, expertise and innovation in providing tailored
solutions to meet their needs."
The Business Insurance survey for 2008 reveals that
Guernsey – fourth – has traded places with the
British Virgin Islands – fifth – compared to 12
There were 368 captives domiciled in Guernsey at the end of 2007
and a net increase of 2 during last year took the total to 370 at
the end of 2008. The BVI was playing host to 392 captives at the
end of 2007 but a net decrease of 60 means that only 332 were based
in the jurisdiction at the end of 2008.
The 2008 table is led by Bermuda with an estimated 960 captives,
followed by Cayman Islands (777) and Vermont (557).
Guernsey has comfortably retained its place as the leading
captive domicile in Europe and is followed by Luxembourg (262),
Isle of Man (156), Dublin (131) and Switzerland (50).
"It is extremely pleasing that Guernsey has not only
maintained its status as the largest captive domicile in Europe but
we have also consolidated our position as a leader on the world
stage. This has come against a backdrop of our maturity as a
captive domicile, increased competition from other jurisdictions
and the soft market conditions that have prevailed," said
Dominic Wheatley, Chairman of the Guernsey Insurance Companies
Management Association (GICMA).
"However, I believe that we can build on this further
during 2009. The commercial market will begin to increase premiums
during this year as the changed economic picture means insurers
find capital more expensive and investment income harder to come
by. Indeed there are already clear signs of a hardening of premium
rates in a number of critical corporate insurance markets. At the
same time there is likely to be a heightened perception of the
risks associated with relying totally on the commercial market for
primary insurance given the failures or near-failures of some very
"These developments increase the attractiveness of risk
financing alternatives such as captives. However, they are moving
apace and so it is better to establish a captive sooner rather than
later. In short, the time to establish a captive is
All these developments and more will be explored at a seminar on
captives being hosted by Guernsey on Thursday 7 May at the Grange
City Hotel in London. Contact Jennifer Baudains on
firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 1481 720071 for
Mr Niven added: "A great breadth of finance business is
carried out in Guernsey so while the global downturn is adversely
impacting flows within some sectors, others are seeing an upswing
or have identified new prospects as a result of the overall global
economic picture. One of the clearest opportunities arising is
within captive insurance and we are getting out these positive
messages to key decision makers on risk, particularly those like
chief financial officers and finance directors, so that Guernsey
can continue to draw in new business flows despite all the talk of
doom and gloom."
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