We know that there are barriers in our system which block banks and payment platforms from doing business in Guernsey. One of the key blockers is that our system does not allow them to automate their processes and they need to manually process data. But we can make it easier for them, with a few simple changes, enabling them to do business more efficiently and making us a more attractive market.  However, there are also areas where they need to improve the quality of service and variety of products on offer.  

So, we’re after a better system and better service. 

What have we been doing? 

We have been sharing the survey results far and wide and lobbying on your behalf for better business banking. We’ve met with the Association of Guernsey Banks, The Guernsey Financial Services Commission, the Committee for Economic Development and many more stakeholders… 

We’re thrilled to share that on the back of our campaigning, the States of Guernsey has commissioned Deloitte to conduct a review of the local banking landscape with a view to reporting back by the end of the years with recommendations. We have already met with Deloitte and shared your experiences, plus all our data and outlined what we think will help fix the system. 

While we’re waiting for the outcome of the report we are working on a ‘cheat sheet’ for you to help navigate the system. 

What do we think needs to change?   

Guernsey businesses receive a worse service from our high street banks than they would receive if they were in the UK. We know that there are some things that we need to fix in the system to enable improvements which may take time, but we also want better service which we hope can be quicker. 

Better System: 

  • Voluntary Share Registry Publication: This will remove one of the key blockers for banks and payment platforms doing business in Guernsey. Banks need to check and verify information as part of their due diligence both at the account opening stage and at regular intervals. This information is not readily accessible through the Guernsey Registry and means that all these checks need to be done manually.  We recognise that not all businesses wish to share this information and indeed that is why they may be registered here, and this privacy is key. Which is why this should be optional. 
  • API Integration from Registry: Introducing an API with the relevant data will allow software programs to exchange vital information. This will pave the way for automation, making Guernsey more attractive place for banks and payment platforms. 
  • Online Electoral Roll: An online electoral roll will provide a reliable source for banks and credit agencies to verify an individual’s identity, which is a critical step in credit assessments or when opening new accounts. 

 Better Service: 

  • Quick and Quality Customer Service: With some businesses waiting up to 9 months to open a bank account, it’s clear that there’s room for improvement. 
  • Open Banking Roll Out: Open banking offers many advantages – from efficient money management for businesses to seamless and integrated financial management solutions. Its adoption in the UK and adherence to GDPR standards shows that its implementation is achievable, dismissing data protection concerns some banks cite. 

What next?

Later this month we have Dave Fishwick speaking at our Gala Dinner, sharing his story on how he brought about change in the banking sector and we’re looking forward to hearing what he has to say, and advice his has to give!