The Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) licensed 97 new international insurers during 2012.
Figures from Guernsey’s financial services regulator show that there were 737 international insurers licensed in the Island at the end of December 2012. This number comprises 242 limited companies, 68 Protected Cell Companies (PCCs), 404 PCC cells, 5 Incorporated Cell Companies (ICCs) and 18 ICC cells.
It compares to a total of 687 international insurers being licensed by the GFSC at the end of December 2011, which means there has been net growth of 50 entities during the year. In that time, there have been 97 additions, including 4 limited companies, 3 PCCs, 87 PCC cells and 3 ICC cells. There have also been 47 surrenders, comprising 17 limited companies, 3 PCCs and 27 PCC cells.
Fiona Le Poidevin, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for the Island’s finance industry, said: “These figures show that last year was very successful for Guernsey as an international insurance centre. The numbers are particularly impressive considering that general market conditions mean that organisations are not especially pre-disposed to seeking out alternatives to the commercial insurance world, such as captive insurance, which is a key part of the Guernsey offering. I am sure many other captive insurance domiciles would like to be able to report such levels of new licences and net growth that we have achieved during 2012.”
A significant number of the licences issued last year relate to insurance products supporting mortgages being offered to purchasers of newly built homes in England, Scotland and Wales. They are backed by the respective governments in the UK and are managed by JLT in Guernsey. Heritage in Guernsey is also managing a scheme established for UK housing associations. These represent another development in the use of the Guernsey-pioneered cell company concept.
Guernsey’s cell company experience, coupled with its expertise across both insurance and investment fields, was a significant factor behind Swiss ILS manager Solidum Partners AG establishing Guernsey reinsurance structures and a related catastrophe reinsurance risk listing on the Channel Islands Stock Exchange (CISX), which is the first private catastrophe bond listed on any exchange worldwide.
In addition, last year, Guernsey became home to another world first with the launch of the Risk Purpose Trust (RPT). Robus Group, a Guernsey-based provider of insurance management and corporate services and Marlborough Trust, a Guernsey-based independent trust company, jointly launched their Princeps version of the concept towards the end of 2012.
Miss Le Poidevin added: “Clients continue to choose Guernsey as the domicile for their captive insurance business because we offer high standards of service combined with proportional regulation. This fosters a dynamic environment and during this last year, we have seen local practitioners building on Guernsey’s tradition of creativity by developing innovative solutions to meet client needs.”
Guernsey has been shortlisted for the ‘European captive domicile of the year’ award at the UK Captive Services Awards 2013. They are held on Tuesday 12 February during the Captive Live UK 2013 event in London on Tuesday 12 February and Wednesday 13 February.
Several Guernsey-headquartered and Guernsey-based firms are also shortlisted for awards and a number of local practitioners are attending and speaking at the conference, where Guernsey Finance is also exhibiting.
Miss Le Poidevin added: “Guernsey had a very successful 2012 and now we are looking to build on these strong foundations. The Captive Live event in London marks the start of our insurance programme for 2013 and it would be a great start to the year if Guernsey was to win the European captive domicile award. However, whether Guernsey wins the award or not, we will be looking for further positive developments during 2013 so we not only maintain, but enhance our position as the largest captive insurance domicile in Europe and number four globally.”
Independent research carried out by trade publications Business Insurance (March 2012) and Captive Review (July 2012) placed Guernsey as the largest captive insurance domicile in Europe and number four in the world.
Category: Finance & Business