While not the first location that springs to mind when thinking of Islamic finance, Guernsey has developed its legal, tax and regulatory frameworks to a point where many Islamic players are now attracted to the island’s well-developed financial industry. John Richardson discusses the steps Guernsey is taking to encourage this trend.
Nestled off the coast of France in the English Channel, the Island of Guernsey is perhaps not the first place that springs to mind when considering setting up a Shariah compliant structure. But the island harbours a thriving financial industry, and a number of large players in the Islamic market have indeed already selected Guernsey as their jurisdiction of choice.
Guernsey’s position between the UK and France makes it a convenient location for doing business. There is connectivity to the London and European markets and, being in the same time zone as the UK, business can be conducted with the MENA region (as well as Asia and the Americas) during the same working day. The island’s regulator has imposed a robust regulatory regime, and its tax standards have been endorsed by the OECD.