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Guernsey – fit for purpose, fit for the future

John Clacy, Partner, Deloitte shared his vision of Guernsey’s place in the world and the future of its financial services industry in a recent Guernsey Press supplement; he says:

‘I believe Guernsey has a fantastic future ahead of it.
‘The world needs a stable, well-regulated, transparent financial intermediary to match the increasingly diversified and bespoke demands of investors with a growing number of alternative investment opportunities. This role facilitates much-needed investment into infrastructure, start-ups, innovation, research and private enterprise whilst giving good returns in an environment where low-interest rates are the norm.
‘The world also needs a stable, well-regulated, transparent wealth management centre that can offer secure, confidential and bespoke services without the spectre of evasion, secrecy and wrongdoing.
‘The world also benefits from an accessible mechanism for entities to manage their risks in an effective manner, tailoring external insurance pinpointed to the specific risks that require it and innovatively managing those that can be best dealt with internally.  
‘Stable, well regulated, bespoke, transparent, niche …. genuinely helping to deal with global challenges. That is what Guernsey does best; we should be proud, and, in my opinion, voice that pride more often and more loudly. ‘
The right regulation
‘But we cannot be complacent, and we need to focus on our strengths and ensure we are ready and fit for purpose as the world changes rapidly around us.
‘We need to ensure our regulation keeps pace with the ever-changing financial environment and matches the risks the island manages. We should not be endorsing regulation designed for risks the island does not face and it should be appropriate to both the product and customer. Brexit is likely to present us with opportunities to help the UK, and we need to be swift in implementing regulation to facilitate this; for example, a Guernsey UK UCITS type product.
People and talent
‘We already have a fantastic pool of lawyers and accountants and we need to ensure we continue to attract and retain those people, but we will also need more experts in fintech, coding and AI to ensure we stay at the cutting edge.
‘We must do everything to encourage and grow a community of these people in the way we have for more traditional finance roles. Our focus on schools, on-island training, population management and quality of life will be vital to achieve this.’
Connectivity is crucial
‘Digital and physical connectivity is another non-negotiable. The island needs to invest, and I mean invest, to ensure this is a positive differentiator not a negative. This needs to be a stated goal and whatever investments are needed, need to happen now – no more talking or reviews, please.’    
Time to stand proud
‘Guernsey – we should make more of who we are and what we stand for. We have been silent for too long and have allowed others to write our headlines. We should be telling our story with pride and passion and not just outside the islands but to our kids, friends and family. If we focus on what the world needs us to be not only will we have a great future, we’ll also have an island that will be an amazing place to live in and one we can be proud to leave to the next generation.’

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