Guernsey is looking to position itself as the ‘go to’ jurisdiction for green financial services with the new development strategy for the island’s financial services sector including a focus on ‘green investment’.
Guernsey Finance Acting Director of Strategy Dr Andy Sloan said that the ambition was to develop the broadest and best range of product with a green focus among international finance centres, incorporating investment, securities and insurance markets and services.
“The potential for green and sustainable finance is enormous and streams into major global initiatives,” says Sloan. “Action in this area builds on Guernsey’s strengths and expertise in private equity and infrastructure, supports other initiatives in areas such as impact investing, and supports a general repositioning of the island’s financial services offer.”
The Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) is poised to launch a new regulatory initiative known as the Guernsey Green Fund. Compliance with green criteria will be required and it will be open to all types of funds. The Commission expects to issue a consultation paper next month and hopes to launch the Green Fund initiative by the middle of the year.
It has also announced plans to work with the global insurance industry to enable long-term green investments to be taken on as assets to meet long-term life insurance liabilities.
The initiative seeks to make it easier for insurance companies to access long-term investments which in turn will make it easier for insurance companies to offer sustainable long-term returns to policyholders; and to widen the pool of purchasers for green investments.
Interest from the industry is being sought as the GFSC develops its new approach to regulatory life insurance solvency requirements.
Sloan says that a Guernsey industry strategy group would be looking to work with global organisations and standard setters to foster international co-operation on green finance development, and would particularly look at infrastructure services.
“Guernsey uniquely has the skill sets and expertise necessary to create the conditions for the rapid development of a market in green financial services in the jurisdiction,” he adds.