About our Sector
The Guernsey Association of Trustees (GAT) is the industry representative body for the Trust and Fiduciary industry in Guernsey.
The sector is substantial and long-established. It benefits from and contributes to Guernsey's mature and sophisticated professional infrastructure and provides a diverse range of trust and corporate services to an international client base covering private clients, corporate and institutional businesses.
Guernsey is one of the world's leading trust jurisdictions due to the strength of its fiduciary law and judicial system. Guernsey's legal framework is based on common law making it a globally recognised legal system. The island is committed to international standards of transparency and is compliant with the latest and highest standards to combat money laundering and the financing of crime or terrorism.
Client Privacy is of utmost importance. In 2017 Guernsey introduced a central register of beneficial ownership of legal entities incorporated and created in Guernsey. This register is not public - only authorities such as law enforcement, tax authorities and other regulatory bodies are granted access and only where their interest in the data is legitimate, resulting in the maintenance of a client's right to privacy but enabling protection of the island from criminal activity.
The sector is well-regulated, often contrary to popular belief and does not provide allowance for tax-evasion, hidden assets or funds. The sector has been regulated in Guernsey since 2001 (unlike in the U.K.) but has been active since the early 1970s. Guernsey practitioners pride themselves in their ability to cater to the holistic requirements of their clients, to fulfil financial, philanthropic and familial needs.
The formation and administration of trusts allows clients to manage their wealth for current and future generations in an efficient and effective manner. Relationships tend to be personal and long term, we are dealing with the relationships and wealth of families so both confidence and trust between all parties is fundamental.
The fiduciary industry directly employs 10% of Guernsey's total workforce and indirectly a significantly higher number including lawyers, accountants, bankers and investment managers to name a few, all of whom contribute both financially and socially to the local economy. Trust companies are subject to 10% tax on profits and their owners and employees are in addition liable to pay 20% tax on their personal income.
The Trust sector contributes substantially to entity registration and licensing fee revenues in Guernsey. Of the 1,544 companies incorporated by the Guernsey Registry during the year ending 2019, approximately 75% were asset-holding companies or other structures administered by fiduciaries.
Raising the profile of Guernsey remains of utmost importance to the trust sector. Ongoing communications and the fostering of relationships with globally-linked professional service providers will ensure continued growth in the industry and therefore a sustained contribution to the island's economy.