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Guernsey Banking Sector Performs Well In Third Quarter

by Amanda Banks, Investors Offshore.com

08 December 2006


Following hot on the heels of recently announced growth in the Guernsey fund sector, it emerged this week that banks have sustained their run of quarter on quarter growth to reach a new high for levels of deposits.

Figures released by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) show that the total value of deposits held with Guernsey banks reached GBP89.37bn at the end of September. That represents an increase during the quarter of GBP110mn or 0.1% from the GBP85.26bn held at the end of June 2006 – the previous record – and a rise of 15% year on year.

It is the tenth consecutive quarter – stretching back to spring 2004 – of growth.

“This is good news,” observed Peter Niven, Chief Executive of GuernseyFinance, the Island’s promotional agency for the finance industry.

He continued:

"The growth during the quarter might be only marginal but coming on the back of sustained increases during the previous two years and the continued negative exchange rate effect caused by the strengthening of Sterling against the major currencies, it does demonstrate the robust nature of this mature sector of the Island’s finance industry.”

The report from the GFSC shows that the exceptional increases in corporate deposits during the second quarter were largely reversed in the third, but this contraction was offset by an increase in group funding deposits from another large bank. In addition, deposit levels held up sufficiently to counter the negative exchange rate effect caused by the strengthening of Sterling.

During the quarter there were strong increases in US Dollars (5.5%) and Swiss Francs (2.5%), but Euro (2.9%) and Sterling (0.3%) deposits both fell.

Swiss fiduciary deposits fell by GBP220mn to GBP34.09bn, which means that at the end of September they represented 38.1% of total levels.

In the overall currency mix, by the end of the quarter, the proportions of US Dollar deposits had increased to 38%, while Sterling deposits had decreased to 32.2% and Euro deposits were down to 24.1%.

Total assets and liabilities increased by GBP810mn to reach a new high of GBP97.44bn..

During the quarter no new banking licences were issued or surrendered. However, there was a change of ownership, as Landsbanki Islands hf acquired the business of Cheshire Guernsey Limited, which now trades as Landsbanki Guernsey Limited.


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