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Guernsey Responds To UK Review Of Offshore Financial Centres

by Robert Lee,, London

28 November 2008

Guernsey's Chief Minister, Lyndon Trott, has said that his government will play a 'full and constructive' role in the review of financial supervision and international co-operation by the Crown Dependencies and Offshore Territories, announced by the UK government earlier this week.

The review comes only a short time after UK Chancellor Alistair Darling labelled the Isle of Man, another British Crown Dependency, as a "tax haven" when answering questions at the Treasury Select Committee on the position of depositors with Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Isle of Man. Darling suggested at the time that the relationship between the UK and the Isle of Man should be reviewed.

The announcement initially sparked confusion and outrage amongst offshore jurisdictions but Chief Minister Trott has said that Guernsey, under his leadership, will play a full and constructive role in the review.

He said that the review will affirm the high standards being achieved by the jurisdiction and insisted that it will not be a threat to the island's operations. He commented:

“Financial services in Guernsey are well regulated and transparent, and have been recognised as such by the OECD, the Financial Action Task Force, and the Financial Stability Forum.

“Lord Myners, the UK minister responsible for financial stability and regulation, only last week acknowledged the significance of Offshore Financial Centres in any co-ordinated international response to the current turmoil in global financial markets."

“The review will complement the IMF assessment to be carried out in January. We will be looking to the review to improve cross-border co-operation and support in the context of financial crises involving financial services firms operating in more than one jurisdiction.”

Deputy Trott and Chief Executive Mike Brown will be meeting with the UK Treasury later this week to discuss the mechanics of the review, including the details of its terms of reference and timescale.

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