Guernsey – the new green investment paradise?
We’ve heard about green investments. We’ve heard about tax havens turning over a new leaf and embrace the tax information exchange culture. But now Guernsey is aligning itself to be ahead of the game on both of those issues, with a growing number of green funds opening up.
The growth in green funds is often put down to investors’ disillusionment with the more traditional and less ethical opportunities that went so wrong and led to the global economic crisis. So called Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) can be an environmentally friendly opportunity linked to green technologies or green products. But the expression can also extend to investments in business opportunities that place corporate social responsibility high up their list of priorities.
If an investment is too complicated to explain in a single sentence and whiffs of questionable ethics, it stands little chance for today’s environmentally conscious saver, a Guernsey firm of financial advisers recently advised.
Guernsey is keen to seek out new kinds of investment product to continue its position as a first class destination for offshore investment. Its long standing mature financial services community may attract “green” investors who are looking for the level of comfort that only a well established financial centre can offer.
As a Crown Dependency, Guernsey has the protection of the United Kingdom from a military perspective, but nevertheless enjoys the political freedom to pursue its own agenda. Most importantly from the point of view of offshore investors, Guernsey has a free hand to ensure that non-residents are taxed (or rather, not taxed) in a favourable way.
The island is a popular location for Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes, which are schemes the UK HMRC has approved for the tax free transfer of UK pensions. Aside from the obvious tax advantages, Guernsey offers such investors the freedom to choose and manage their assets that may not be available elsewhere. Perhaps if Guernsey is getting greener, British expats may find that their pensions are too.