The Island’s economy is broad based and encompasses banking, insurance and finance, tourism, horticulture, light industry, fishing and more recently PR and conference businesses.
The legal, trust and company management sectors provide support services to the finance and insurance companies which promote our efficient and favourable tax regime worldwide.
Tourism is not only an important industry in its own right, but complements the other sectors by supporting year round air and sea communications and excellent retail, hotel and restaurant facilities for the business visitor and tourist. Over recent years light industry has established itself, thus offering alternative employment prospects and providing a diversification for the economy.
There are 46 licensed Banks in the Island with deposits of approximately £150 billion. They represent a range of countries including UK, Switzerland, Bermuda, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Netherlands, South Africa, Qatar and the USA. They provide a range of services including retail banking, private banking, custody, foreign exchange and other services to the investment, fund administration, fiduciary and insurance sectors.
The Insurance business is both domestic and international. It includes intermediaries, captive insurers, protected cell companies and life assurance companies who arrange contracts covering international risks. The Island has a large strong Collective Investment funds business with approximately 40 fund managers, administrators and custodians. Total funds under management currently stand at about £135 billion.In 1998 the Channel Islands Stock Exchange (“CISX”) was established as a joint venture between Jersey and Guernsey adding further facilities for investors.
The economic output of the Island (GDP) is approx £1.92 billion. The 2011 accounts show total revenue income of around £350m. Expenditure is just above £330 million resulting in a small surplus. Just under 80% of general revenue is raised from Income Tax, 17% from other taxes and the remainder from miscellaneous income.
Of the total expenditure for 2011, Health & Social Services accounted for 32% (£94.2m), Education accounted for 23% (£67.9m) and Social Security accounted for 15% (£43.7m) down on the previous year from 19% (£56.8m).
There are about 62,000 people on the Island and just under 32,000 are employed or self‑employed (54% males 46% females). Unemployment is low, ranging between 1 and 2%, commonly at around 250 persons.
Overall reserves stand at about £625 million and the Island has no borrowing requirement. The recent changes in taxation known as the Zero‑Ten regime (effective from 1st January 2008) require some short term funding from reserves. There are no Value Added Taxes in Guernsey.
The location of the islands outside the EU, together with the strong non‑party political Government, the effective and respected Regulatory framework, the favourable tax regime, first class banking and legal services, and good communications, all combine to make the Island an excellent place from which to reside and conduct business.