We have responded to global regulatory developments and issues along the way – including our response to Solvency II a decade ago, choosing to adopt a flexible and responsive, pragmatic and proportionate non-Solvency II regime, rather than pursue full compliance with European regulation, and this is now seen as a key differentiator for us.
More recently, in an issue which is still active, we have addressed ‘substance requirements’ for the industry to satisfy the European Union’s tax concerns.
Guernsey satisfied the substance requirements of the EU Council’s Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation, though further information is still to be published on insurance requirements.
The island has worked hard to reach a practical solution on insurance substance. However our industry is now seeing the substance demands as something of a cause for confidence, with Guernsey’s fundamental expertise and experience in the sector to the fore.
Guernsey takes its international obligations very seriously and has set out to create an environment that is compliant and consistent with the international requirements of the business community.
Captive insurance is a long-term strategic tool. And in structuring that sort of arrangement, you want that certainty in your chosen jurisdiction. We deliver real certainty for clients who come to Guernsey as they know exactly what they are going to get, consistent with international norms and global standards.
Guernsey’s regulatory regime distinguishes between different classes of insurer, such as commercial and captive insurers, and places proportionate regulatory burdens on each, based on the IAIS Insurance Core Principles, the global standard for international insurance supervision.
The regulatory regime is quicker and less prescriptive, and is set alongside a business-friendly environment, tax neutrality, and long history of expertise.
Our history of robust corporate governance, and wealth of qualified and experienced insurance expertise ensures that we can provide captive clients with genuine on-island substance.
Guernsey has also started to develop captive solutions for the Asian market – we won an award as best non-Asian domicile last year, and are showing a strong commitment to that market, having signed four insurance-related Memoranda of Understanding with the Chinese authorities.
A track record in innovation continues to serve the island well. Insurance today is all about responding to continual challenge and change with new thinking and having the ability to spot and seize an opportunity.
That is something that Guernsey has been, and still is, pretty good at. We are the number one captive insurance domicile in Europe for a reason.
Dominic Wheatley is Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, the promotional agency for Guernsey's finance industry. His role includes business development and the promotion of Guernsey's finance industry in the Island's target markets including Europe, the US and the emerging markets, technical research to support promotional activities and liaison with industry associations and government. He was previously Chief Marketing Officer of the Willis Global Captive Practice and Managing Director of its Guernsey business, and has over 25 years of finance experience in London and, for the past 19 years, in Guernsey.