Friday, August 21, 2015
The EU Commission has confirmed its continued endorsement of Guernsey as a cooperative jurisdiction following a meeting between officials in Brussels.
This news was welcomed in Guernsey, which has a strong record in meeting international standards as a cooperative and highly transparent jurisdiction - including as an 'early adopter' of the Common Reporting Standards ahead of some European countries.
Responding to the news, Guernsey's Chief Minister, Jonathan Le Tocq, has written to European Tax Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, stating: "Guernsey welcomes the Commission's confirmation at the meeting that it considers Guernsey to be a cooperative jurisdiction. This recognises not only Guernsey's adherence to the OECD and Global Forum international standards on transparency and information exchange, but also that our corporate tax regime has been assessed as compliant with the EU's Code of Conduct on Corporate Taxation, and hence not containing harmful measures."
The endorsement from the EU comes soon after the Commission included Guernsey on a list that some commentators had misperceived as a 'black list' of un-cooperative jurisdictions. The list, published on 17 June, was widely criticised, including by the OECD, for a lack of transparent and consistent methodology and has subsequently had its name changed for clarity.
Dominic Wheatley, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance - the promotional agency for the Island's finance industry internationally, said: "We welcome the EU's endorsement of Guernsey as a cooperative jurisdiction which is fully consistent with the findings of its Code of Conduct Group on Corporate Taxation in 2012. This clarification should give full confidence to all those looking to do business in Guernsey and enjoy the high quality of the financial business environment here."
"While the confirmation of the Commission's view is positive for Guernsey, the contribution that Guernsey makes to the European economy should not be overlooked. Research published by KPMG earlier this year showed that Guernsey funds have a total population of £155.4 billion assets under administration and that almost half of that is invested into continental (non-UK) Europe, demonstrating Guernsey is also an important business partner for the EU."
"It has also been welcome to have confirmation from organisations such as the European Investment Fund that not only do they also recognise that Guernsey was not in any way 'black listed', but also that they are aware of the positive recognition of Guernsey's track record by the OECD."