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Guernsey Reports Growth In Insurance Sector


The number of licensed international insurers in Guernsey rose significantly during 2012, according to new figures from the island's Financial Services Commission (GFSC).

The GFSC licensed 97 new international insurers during 2012, bringing the total number of international insurers licensed in the island to 737, a net growth of 50 on December 2011 levels.

At the end of December 2012, there were 242 limited companies, 68 Protected Cell Companies (PCCs), 404 PCC cells, five Incorporated Cell Companies (ICCs) and 18 ICC cells.

During the course of the year, four new licenses were granted to limited companies, three in respect of PCCs, 87 for PCC cells and three for ICC cells. A total of 47 licenses were surrendered, from 17 limited companies, three PCCs and 27 PCC cells.

Commenting on the latest figures, Fiona Le Poidevin, the 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 organizations 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."

A significant number of the licenses 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.

Also during 2012, Swiss ILS manager Solidum Partners AG established a number of Guernsey reinsurance structures to facilitate the world's first ever private catastrophe bond listing on any exchange worldwide, on the Channel Islands Stock Exchange. In addition, Guernsey became home to another world-first with the launch of the Risk Purpose Trust (RPT), a trust structure similar to a captive insurance entity in terms of its purpose, launched by Guernsey-based companies, Robus Group and Marlborough Trust.

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."