Guernsey (根西島), a British Crown dependency and an international finance center, has opened a representative office in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
It is the second offshore office for the island, located in the English Channel between Britain and France, which opened one in Shanghai in 2008.
The Hong Kong office will serve as a base to raise the region’s awareness of Guernsey’s expertise in serving global clients who are seeking to invest in Europe and Britain, and to explain the operation of Guernsey’s regulatory regimes with regard to trust and company service providers, investment funds, insurance vehicles and banks.
To mark the opening of its Hong Kong office, Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for the island’s finance industry – hosted a launch event Tuesday at the China Club in Central, which featured a keynote speech by Lord Howard Flight, a member of Britain’s House of Lords and a commissioner of Guernsey’s financial regulator, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC), and a panel debate on the current economic climate.
“Guernsey is an important gateway for outbound investment opportunities into Europe and the United Kingdom,” Flight said.
With a population of 65,000, the island has adopted a well-established legal system that is similar to that of Hong Kong, a former British colony.
Several hundred firms are based on the island, providing an extensive range of financial products and services, including banking, investment funds, corporate listings, wealth management and insurance risk solutions.
The island’s government is upbeat about China’s growth, although it has slowed down, and believes it would be beneficial to pursue long-term ties, GFSC director general William Mason said.
Guernsey Finance chief executive Dominic Wheatley said: “Establishing a larger presence in Asia reflects current industry trends and is fundamental to our future strategy, particularly as Hong Kong is such an important hub, not only for China but Southeast Asia overall.”
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