International News

  • Jersey Budget Raises Taxes on Companies, HNWIs 5th October 2017

    Jersey’s 2018 Budget proposes increased tax allowances for working families and asks businesses and high-value future residents to make a greater tax contribution.

    The definition of a financial services company will be widened, moving more companies into the 10 percent tax rate, raising an extra GBP3m (USD3.9m) per year.

    A 20 percent income tax is proposed for retailers with profits exceeding GBP500,000 a year. The tax will start on profits of GBP500,000 with the full 20 percent rate payable on profits of GBP750,000 or more, the Government said. This is estimated to raise GBP5.7m a year from around 20 mainly foreign-owned businesses.

    Fees on international service entities will rise and more companies will be required to pay them. These fees are paid by regulated financial services businesses and currently raise GBP9m per year.

    The tax-free income allowance for working age people will rise by 2.5 percent, to GBP14,900, and the second earner’s allowance will increase by GBP850 to GBP5,850, eliminating the disparity in allowances between married and cohabiting couples, where both partners are earning.

    The minimum annual tax payable by new high-value residents will rise from GBP125,000 to GBP145,000, with the minimum tax contribution to be reviewed every five years from 2023. This measure applies from January 2018.

  • Guernsey Finance Marks A Decade In China 28th September 2017

    The signing of cooperation deals with Chinese regulators and industry associations provided Guernsey with the foundation to develop business and build relationships with Chinese service providers and their clients, a recent conference was told.

    The conference marked the opening of Guernsey’s Shanghai representative office 10 years ago.

    It was noted that Guernsey has signed MoUs with all of China’s financial services regulators, and as many as 10 MoUs and cooperation statements have been concluded with industry bodies, representative associations, and other agencies.

    Keynote speaker Keijan Chao, who is Deputy Director of the Shanghai Municipal Government Huangpu District in charge of Financial Services, said the MoUs had led to a strong bond between the two jurisdictions.

    “The relationship is close and well-developed because it has been approached from a very high level in terms of government, regulator, and industry cooperation,” Chao said.

    Similarly, Yongjie Liu of Beijing Airport Captive Management Consulting highlighted the importance of the MoUs as he discussed establishing a captive insurance joint venture with Guernsey.

    “There are only eight captive structures in China and the threshold is too high to set up a captive,” he said. “Guernsey can get it done more efficiently. Guernsey is also a center of innovation, having developed the protected cell company structure in 1997 that can now be used in many sectors such as capital markets, trusts, and insurance.”

    Commenting on the successful event, Kate Clouston of Guernsey Finance said: “Guernsey’s trusted reputation in China is yielding great results at a time when more and more Chinese advisers and clients are seeking transparency and advanced methods of financial management … Guernsey has five decades of expertise in this area and I’m pleased to see that this is being recognized. We look forward to continuing to help financial services in China develop and also learn from our partners across the region.”

  • Caribbean IFCs Ranked Highly In Latest Financial Centers Index 21st September 2017

    Caribbean nations have a had strong showing in the latest edition of the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI 22) published by leading City of London think tank Z/Yen.

    The index is published each March and October and ranks major financial centers based on objective evidence of competitiveness from a wide variety of comparable sources, as well as responses to an online questionnaire. The latest index featured 108 international financial centers.

    Bermuda remains the leading specialist financial center in the Caribbean region coming in at 29th in the index, up 13 points on a 1,000-point scale, and rising two places compared with the last edition of the index. The Cayman Islands was second in the region and 31st in the overall rankings, rising one place.

    The British Virgin Islands and the Bahamas rose strongly up the index. The BVI’s score was 38 points higher and it jumped 14 places, while the Bahamas gained 32 points and two places.

    Trinidad and Tobago was 65th place, falling 5 places since its last ranking, but gaining an extra 15 points.

    European “island” international financial centers did well also. The British Crown Dependencies – Jersey (40th), Guernsey (41st), and the Isle of Man (56th) – all performed strongly and Gibraltar (75) and Malta (85) improved.

    London remained top of the index, followed by New York. Hong Kong closed the gap on New York, in third place, and Singapore was fourth. Zurich placed ninth, up two places on the last index.