GAT Newsletter February 2016

Industry News

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KPMG Strategic Review of the Guernsey Fiduciary Industry

Click here to read a copy of KPMG’s Strategic Review of Guernsey’s Fiduciary Industry. This has been publicly released today. Thanks has been expressed by the Policy Council to those of you who have contributed to this work.

Click here to see the press release which accompanies the report.

Guernsey Finance Map

BEPS Working Party Consultation

The Policy Council established BEPs Working Party is seeking your views on the proposed Anti-Base Erosion & Profit Shifting Directive.

Click here to read the memo containing the consultation questions. You are asked to respond directly to the Policy Council and details are given herein.

Guernsey Finance Map

Step Guernsey Website Launch

Step Guernsey have launched their brand new website and got active on social media in February, setting up their very own branch Twitter account.

Step Guernsey are a vibrant and dynamic arm of the organisation and are proud of being one of the most active of the global branches. As a member of this local branch you have access to a number of events that run through the year, namely the annual Lecture Series, STEP Ball and new social event for Young Members & Students. Please save www.stepguernsey.org to your favourites. This is where all STEP Guernsey news and latest events are now posted.

Follow @stepgsy on twitter to keep up with the latest branch news, show your support and grow awareness of STEP among your friends and followers.

Guernsey Finance Map

CRS/FATCA – getting into the detail

GAT and STEP Guernsey recently co-hosted a very popular presentation expertly delivered by Jo Huxtable and Martin Popplewell. By kind permission we attach a copy of their slides for those of you who will find this of interest. CRS GAT STEP Feb 2016

Guernsey Finance Map

Guernsey Credit Rating

Please see below a statement from the Minister for Treasury & Resources Deputy Gavin St Pier on the recent change in Guernsey’s Standard & Poor’s Rating.

“Standard & Poor’s have confirmed that they will be lowering the credit rating of Guernsey and other ‘micro-sovereign’ jurisdictions to AA with a negative outlook. AA is the second highest rating Guernsey can attain as it does not have a central bank.

This change of rating will have no direct impact on Guernsey’s economy or economic performance.

We believe that the change of rating reflects a revision in the way in which Standard & Poor’s analyse and rate micro-sovereigns such as Guernsey or Jersey, in comparison to larger states.

A major underlying factor for the rating being lowered and the negative outlook is the potential for a UK exit from the European Union. This is disappointing for three reasons. First, it misunderstands the nature of the relationship between Guernsey and the EU – Standard & Poor’s appears not to have recognised the important point that Guernsey is outside the EU for most purposes and already has an established third county relationship on financial services. Second, it is a judgement that appears to be based on political analysis, rather than robust fiscal and economic scrutiny. Third, Standard & Poor’s have made this revision well before the announcement of a UK referendum date, so seems both premature and unnecessary, not least as it has been reported that Standard & Poor’s itself is expecting UK voters to stay in the EU (Financial Times, 11 December 2015).

We note that Standard & Poor’s has referenced “rising regulatory complexity and demands, amid the G10’s rising focus on low tax regimes” as pressures. However we have made the case, and as a jurisdiction have actively demonstrated, that Guernsey is supportive of the EU and OECD anti-BEPS agenda, meets every international standard of tax transparency and financial regulation, and has a finance sector based on expertise rather than tax avoidance or regulatory arbitrage. Therefore, we think this factor has been weighed much too heavily into the analysis, and cite in support of that for example the OECD’s view that low tax regimes are not in themselves considered to be harmful. “

Forthcoming Events

Remember to check our Events Calendar for Industry presentations and other events that may be of interest.

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Step Guernsey March Events 2015/16 Series

STEP Guernsey Lecture Series 2015/16 sponsored by Mourant Ozannes

Lunchtime Lecture No. 7
Date: Wednesday 2nd March 2016
Time: Registration 11.45am lecture starts at 12.00pm
Topic: General UK Tax Update for Guernsey Trustees
Speaker: David Knight, Fitzroy Tax services

Evening Lecture No. 7
Date: Thursday 17th March 2016
Time: Registration 5.15pm lecture starts at 5.30pm
Topic: The Impact of the EU Succession Regulation No 650/2012 (Brussels IV)
Speaker: Richard Frimston, Russell Cooke

BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE

STEP Members and Non-members welcome.

Your booking will be made via the new STEP Guernsey website where you will follow the same simple steps that you have done before to reserve your places at STEP lectures.

Please contact stepguernsey@step.org or 226281 for further information.

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Support Required For STEP South Africa

Guernsey Finance (GF) are seeking support from industry to assist on the exhibition stand at the STEP South Africa conference. The conference is due to be held 4-5 April 2016 at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town. Guernsey are gold sponsors at this event. Further details about the conference are available on the event website – STEP South Africa. To register your interest in attending this event, please contact Kat Gillespie.

GF would also like to hear from local companies who have an interest in doing business in South Africa, regardless of whether you want to attend the STEP conference. Please contact Dominic Wheatley to discuss.

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Channel Island Focused Event

Informa Exhibitions are organising a Channel Islands-focussed event in Central London on 24 / 25 May and are looking for Guernsey practitioners, lawyers and accountants to make up the panels. For more information click here.

If any members are keen to speak on any particular topic James Travers from Guernsey Finance would be happy to recommend them to the organisers and they should get in touch with him j.travers@guernseyfinance.com

Sponsor Articles

Items of relevance and interest to Members brought to you by GAT Sponsors. Click here to see Sponsor page.

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Guernsey’s Corporate Tax Regime

In recent months, there has been some debate about the operation of Zero-10 with a suggestion in some quarters that it is time to reform the Island’s corporate tax regime.

KPMG are acutely aware of the importance to the Island of the operation and perception of our tax regime. With this in mind, they felt that it is important to bring relevant facts and insight to the debate. They have therefore produced the attached report that you might find of interest: Guernsey’s Corporate Tax Regime Feb 16

Please feel free to distribute the report among your colleagues. If you would like to discuss it, do contact Tony Mancini.

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The EU-US Privacy Shield: the new data protection deal

Carey Olsen have provided a briefing note on The (Un)Safe Harbor and Schrems

New Admission to the Guernsey Bar

Carey Olsen associate, Nina Silva, has been admitted as an advocate of the Royal Court of Guernsey and called to the Guernsey Bar.

Based in their trusts and private wealth group, Advocate Silva deals with all aspects of fiduciary law, advising high net worth clients and trustees on the establishment and administration of offshore trusts.

Save the Date – Carey Olsen Autumn Trust Conference 2016

We are pleased to announce the date of the Carey Olsen Autumn Trust Conference on Thursday 29 September. The full programme with details of the speakers will be announced closer to the date.

To register for further information or to reserve a place, please email autumntrustconference@careyolsen.com

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Quarterly Research Note

Please find ARC’s quarterly research note for February 2016 Current PCI Commentary FEB 2106 (1)

The note concludes the following:

• 2015 was a tough year for investors with muted returns across four PCI risk categories and all four PCI reference currencies. Evidence suggests that storm clouds are growing and it will require tactical asset allocation skills to navigate a steady course through 2016 and beyond.
• Discretionary fund managers generally did a good job in tactical asset allocation last year, generally avoiding areas of significant market disruption, such as commodities and emerging markets.
• The spread of returns in 2015 between discretionary managers was unusually low. To find out how a portfolio has fared against the professionals, visit www.suggestus.com (its free!).

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