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Guernsey Bank Deposits Reach Another New High

by Robert Lee,, London

09 December 2005

Total deposits held with Guernsey banks at the end of September 2005 have increased in sterling terms by more than GBP4.7 billion since the end of the second quarter to reach a record high level of over GBP77.5 billion, an increase of 5.6%, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission announced this week.

The island's financial regulator reported that the figures have been inflated slightly by exchange rate movements as sterling weakened against the US Dollar, the Euro and the Swiss Franc, but the overall increase in volumes is due to a number of factors, mainly: some big balance sheet movements among the biggest banks to facilitate the funding of holdings of group related assets; and increases in deposits by funds as the fund sector continued to grow.

When expressed in their underlying currencies the picture was one of increases right across the board, with deposits in Euros increasing by 12.7%, in US Dollars by 6.4% and in Swiss francs by 5.2% and Sterling deposits by 1.0%.

Swiss fiduciary deposits were up strongly in sterling terms by 6.0% to stand at GBP28.19 billion, representing 36.3% of total deposits.

The proportion of total deposits in Euros increased to 24.1% while Sterling fell to 34.0%. Meanwhile the US Dollar increased its share to 36.9%.

There were no changes in the number of banking licences during the third quarter although there were two name changes: Barings (Guernsey) Limited changed its name to Northern Trust (Guernsey) Limited and Baden-Wurttembergische Bank AG changed its name to Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg, Guernsey Branch.

Commenting on the figures, Philip Marr, Director of Banking at the GFSC commented that:

“The strong increase in deposit figures underpins the vibrancy of the banking sector. The biggest increases were in support of holdings of group assets and group activities elsewhere but there were solid increases across a wide range of banks.

"It is evident that Swiss fiduciary deposits have regained their attractiveness in the major currencies. It is also encouraging to note that Sterling deposits increased over the period suggesting that the overall impact of the coming into force of the EU Savings Directive arrangements will not be significant.”

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