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Continuing growth stokes confidence in finance

Continuing growth stokes confidence in finance

Thursday 12 January 2023

Continuing growth stokes confidence in finance

Thursday 12 January 2023


The promotional body overseeing Guernsey's finance sector has shown its confidence in the sector - despite a well known brand pulling out of the island being reported globally this week.

RBC Wealth Management announced on Tuesday that its Guernsey office will close within two years.

The 89 staff were told of the decision during the morning before the public announcement was made.

Some of their roles may be relocated to Jersey or elsewhere with the other Channel Island office likely to take on a bulk of the work currently done in Guernsey, while the rest is directed to other teams.

Guernsey Finance's Chief Executive said it accepted the decision was based on a business need to "centralise operations" and insists it does not reflect badly on the island's wider financial services.

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Pictured: Rupert Pleasant, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance.

Rupert Pleasant said: “It is important to note that there is continuing growth across industry; Guernsey continues to be home to a significant number of banks and recent quarterly reporting figures show our total deposits are steadily increasing, with the latest figures standing at over £106 billion.

"Today’s decision by RBC Wealth Management is in no way a reflection of the robust health of Guernsey’s financial services sector, nor the attractiveness of the jurisdiction as a place to do business.”

The Guernsey Financial Services Commission had similarly positive news regarding the current status of the island's dominant industry.

Its figures for the third quarter of 2022 showed the total net asset value of Guernsey funds was £302.7 billion, the same in Sterling terms as the previous quarter. Total net asset values were ip 4.4% (£12.8 billion in a year).

A growing area for financial services businesses across the world is the Green Fund and within the totals for Guernsey Funds, Guernsey Green Funds held a total net asset value of £5.6 billion at the end of the quarter.

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Pictured: Green finance has been a growing sector in recent years. 

The news that RBC Wealth Management was pulling out of Guernsey was reported globally with dedicated publishers for the private wealth market commenting on the announcement.

Wealth Briefing reported that: "The move highlights how cost continues to weigh on banks as they ponder the most efficient way to run their global business".

Private Banker International called it a "retreat" from Guernsey, while Portfolio Adviser said it was an "exit".

RBC had said its 89 locally based Wealth Management staff will be supported over the next two years as the office is closed in Guernsey. 

Customers will continue to be services by the business in Jersey or elsewhere.

RBC private banking clients are described as "typically business owners, entrepreneurs, wealthy families, corporate executives, or other professionals with a minimum of $1 million in investable assets or an overall net worth of $3 million".

A number of other firms continue to offer private wealth services in Guernsey, as endorsed by We Are Guernsey and registered by the GFSC. 

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