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Survey Shows Confidence Returning To IOM Offshore Finance Sector

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

17 December 2003


Confidence levels within the Manx offshore financial services industry appear to be on the rise once again as the sector emerges from one of the sharpest economic downturns of recent times, according to a survey by Isle of Man based Acuity Consultants.

The results reveal that fewer than one-tenth of managers in the industry are less optimistic than they were at the outset of the year, and most are more optimistic than in the first half of 2003.

Simon Willoughby, a director at Acuity suggests that confidence has been directly boosted by an increase in business volumes over the last few months. “Two out of three respondents reported that business volume growth in the second half of 2003 has been as expected or better, confirming the increase in retail savings and investment sales forecast by many industry analysts,” he revealed to Isle of Man Online.

He also noted that one-third of those polled, particularly in the banking sector, planned a recruitment drive in the latter period of 2003 in marked contrasts to the widespread lay-offs seen in the financial services sector in the past year. “This has to be good news for the Isle of Man economy,” observed Mr Willoughby.

However, he warned that significant challenges lie ahead for the sector in the form of increasing competition and tougher regulatory requirements following initiatives such as the European Savings Directive, which could easily erode the industry’s fragile confidence.


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