Guernsey is a British Crown dependency, situated in the English Channel. Guernsey is a "self-governing possession" of the British Crown and is considered internationally as a "territory for which the United Kingdom is responsible" rather than a sovereign state. Guernsey is not a part of the European Union, although it's within the European Union's customs area.
Financial services, including banking, fund management, and insurance, are the main contributors to the GDP of Guernsey.
Most of the banks in Guernsey are foreign-controlled banks representing a range of countries with majority of banks having their head offices in the United Kingdom and Switzerland. Banks operating in Guernsey provide quite diversified spectrum of solutions: retail banking services essential to the local community, expatriate deposits, private banking and wealth management. Guernsey's banks also provide custody, foreign exchange and other banking services to investment, fund administration, fiduciary and insurance sectors.
|Location||Europe; an island in the English Channel|
|Population (2012)||65 345|
|EU Status||not part of the EU|
|Dependent Territory Of||United Kingdom (British Crown Dependency)|
|National Currency||GBP (Pound sterling)|
|Credit Ratings (as of Sep 2016)|
|Withholding Tax||0.0 - 20.0%|
|Double Taxation Agreements||12 signed agreements|
|Exchange on Request||57 signed agreements|
|Automatic Exchange||starts in September 2017|
|FATCA||IGA in effect since 13 December 2013, Model 1|
|Deposit Guarantee Scheme|
|Maximum Protected Amount||50 000 GBP|
|Country Ceiling for Deposits|
|Banking Supervision||Financial Services Commission|
|Banking Sector Structure|
|Number of Banks||30|
|List of Banks in Guernsey|
Withholding taxes are imposed at source of income and are often applied to dividends, interest, royalties, rent and similar payments. The rates of withholding tax are often reduced by double taxation agreements.
Withholding tax rates applied on payments of interest and dividends in Guernsey are shown in Table 1.
|Natural person, resident||20.0||0.0|
|Natural person, non-resident||0.0||0.0|
Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) is an agreement between two or more countries for the avoidance of double taxation.
Guernsey signed DTAs which already came info force with the following jurisdictions (for agreements which came into force after 01 January 2013 the date of coming into force is given in brackets):
There are also several agreements between Guernsey and other jurisdictions which were signed but haven't yet come into force (for agreements signed after after 01 January 2013 of signing the agreement is given in brackets):
There are 3 ways for jusrisdictions to exchange information on tax matters:
Spontaneous exchange of information is provision of information that is forseeably relevant to another party without a request being previously sent.
Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) enable exchange of information on request relating to a specific tax investigation, either criminal or civil.
Guernsey signed TIEAs which already came info force with the following jurisdictions (for agreements which came into force after 01 January 2013 the date of coming into force is given in brackets):
There are also several agreements between Guernsey and other jurisdictions which was signed but haven't yet come into force (for agreements signed after 01 January 2013 of signing the agreement is given in brackets):
Automatic information exchange allows jurisdictions to exchange information automatically, without having a specific tax investigation.
Guernsey signed the automatic information exchange agreement on 29 October 2014 and committed to start the automatic information exchange in September 2017.
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) which became law in the United States in March 2010, focuses on reporting made by foreign financial institutions about financial accounts held by US taxpayers or foreign entities in which US taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest. The FATCA-reporting is facilitated by Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs).
Guernsey has FATCA agreement with the U.S. in effect since 13 December 2013 (Intergovernmental Agreement Model 1). Financial institutions operating in Guernsey are required to identify U.S. taxpayers by January 1, 2017 and to report the information for 2017 and the subsequent years. The agreement is reciprocal: Guernsey's financial accounts hold in U.S. financial institutions will be reported to Guernsey's authorities.
FATCA and European countries
Deposit Guarantee Schemes compensate certain deposits held by depositors of a bank that becomes unable to meet its obligations.
From a depositor's point of view it is important to know:
All these details about deposit guarantee scheme in Guernsey are summarised in Table 2.
|Scheme Participants||all credit institutions operating in Guernsey (including branches of foreign banks), branches of Guernsey's banks abroad|
|Eligible Depositors||natural persons|
|Covered Accounts||deposits by a natural person for his own benefits, account held by a parent for the benefit of his/her child|
|Maximum Protected Amount||50 000 GBP|
|Paid In Currency||GBP|
Table 2. Deposit guarantee scheme in Guernsey.
Deposit Guarantee Schemes in European Territories
Moody's country ceilings for deposits specify the highest rating that can be assigned to local- or foreign- currency denominated deposit obligations of a bank or other deposit taking institution domiciled within that country.
Foreign currency deposit ceiling for Guernsey] is Aaa (prime).
Currently there are 30 credit institutions operating in Guernsey.
All the credit institutions operating in Guernsey can be classified into several categories. Table 3 summarises the number of banks in each category.
|Category||Number of Banks|
|Branches of foreign banks||16|